The New York Times posted the story “Specialists Join Call for Veto of Drug Bill“.
Women’s rights and medical groups have called on Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee to veto legislation that would allow criminal assault charges to be filed against women who use illegal drugs during pregnancy. Critics say the measure will harm babies because pregnant women will be afraid to seek medical care.
At a time of rising concern about narcotics addiction, the bill was passed last week by bipartisan majorities in both houses of the Tennessee legislature. It received crucial support from the district attorney in Memphis, Amy Weirich, who said the threat of jail was needed as a “velvet hammer” to force mothers into court-supervised drug treatment.