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posted by n1 on Tuesday May 06 2014, @04:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the Take-Me-to-Another-Land dept.

USA Today reports that Tennessee has become the first state with legislation that will criminally charge women who use drugs while pregnant with assault for harm done to their infants. Tennessee officials have wrestled with what to do about the growing numbers of infants born dependent on drugs (921 in Tennessee in 2013) and who often suffer from a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome. The legislation would allow mothers to avoid criminal charges if they get into one of the state's few treatment programs. Governor Bill Haslam says he wants doctors to encourage women to get into treatment before delivering their babies so they can avoid charges. "The intent of this bill is to give law enforcement and district attorneys a tool to address illicit drug use among pregnant women through treatment programs," says Haslam.

Seventeen states already consider drug use during pregnancy as child abuse and in three of them Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin it is grounds for civil commitment (e.g. forced enrollment in treatment programs). In 15 states, health-care providers are required to report suspected abuse and, in four of those states, they are then also required to test for drug exposure of the child. Eighteen states have treatment programs targeted at pregnant women. Opponents of the bill, including five national medical organizations and local doctors who treat pregnant women, worry that criminalization will scare women away from treatment. "This law separates mothers from their children and is not patient-centered," says Cherisse A. Scott. "Tennessee families who are already being hit the hardest by policies such as the failure to expand Medicaid, poverty and a lack of available drug treatment facilities will be most deeply impacted by this bill."

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  • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Wednesday May 07 2014, @08:27AM

    by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Wednesday May 07 2014, @08:27AM (#40458) Journal

    WRONG sir you are trying to spin the fact that you believe that poor people are children that they have NO free will of their own, simply because they are poor. You sir are arguing the same position that those for affirmative action, that without your help they are incapable of making a responsible choice. You can spin all you want but ultimately that IS your position, that being poor makes "those people" so pathetic and helpless that ONLY with YOU making the choice FOR them they will be okay.

    Tell me would YOU sell YOUR reproductive rights simply because you are poor? Then why do you think that they are impotent children that can't choose correctly without you? You DO realize this is the exact same argument that is used for every. single. nanny. state. law. we have had from prohibition on up, the poor are helpless, they are stupid, after all if they weren't they wouldn't be poor would they? they will spend all their money on drugs if they are legal, spend all their money on booze if that is legal, they will gamble away every dime if there is a lotto or casino, your entire argument is based on the frankly offensive position that poor are children, only rich white people like yourself are qualified to make the choices for them.

    ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
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  • (Score: 2) by Angry Jesus on Wednesday May 07 2014, @10:04AM

    by Angry Jesus (182) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @10:04AM (#40472)

    > Tell me would YOU sell YOUR reproductive rights simply because you are poor?

    If I was starving, or homeless or dying of a treatable disease and the money would be enough to cure it then I probably would and so would most rationale and sane people.

    > WRONG sir you are trying to spin the fact that you believe that poor people are children

    Whatevers dude. I think your crazy-ass ranting has discredited your own position way more than anything I could have written and really that's the about the best I could reasonably expect from this conversation.