Care2Causes posted the story “First Criminalize “Bad” Pregnant People, Then Criminalize “Bad” Mothers“.
Usually, when a state passes a bill meant to try to change a societal trend, they give that bill a few years to see if it is working or not before readdressing it. Tennessee, however, is far too impatient to do so. Instead, the state legislature is in the process of passing a law that will charge a pregnant person with criminal assault for using drugs while pregnant, following the tide of other states that have created new charges specifically and solely focused on those who are carrying a pregnancy to term.
It was only two years ago that the legislature voted to remove criminal charges for a pregnant person found to be using drugs, citing hopes that without fear of jail those people would be more likely both to seek treatment and prenatal care. Now, it could once again be a crime, as the senate has passed SB 1391, allowing misdemeanor assault charges against mothers in cases in which babies are born drug-dependent.