Tennessee Legislature Approves Measure Criminalizing Pregnant Women

Ms. Magazine posted the story “Tennessee Legislature Approves Measure Criminalizing Pregnant Women“.

The Tennessee state legislature passed SB 1391 Wednesday, a bill that allows women who suffer from drug-related pregnancy complications to be charged with assault and potentially imprisoned.

The bill would permit women to be charged with assault – theoretically up to the point of aggravated assault, which incurs a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison – if they have pregnancy complications after using illegal drugs or deliver children with “neonatal abstinence syndrome.” The original bill allowed women to be charged with homicide if her fetus or baby died, but was later amended. The bill was also amended to give women the option of abandoning all charges if she voluntarily enters an approved treatment program, although advocates say the measure would discourage those women from seeking care in the first place.

Read the full story here.

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