Tennessee legislature passes bill to criminalize pregnancy: Women who have stillbirths after using illegal drugs may be charged

Slate posted the story “Tennessee legislature passes bill to criminalize pregnancy: Women who have stillbirths after using illegal drugs may be charged“.

Prosecutors have become quite fond of stretching the reach of child abuse and even murder laws to punish pregnant women for failing to deliver live or healthy babies, usually because those women used drugs during pregnancy. (Though not always.) Often the fact that the laws being used to prosecute are clearly not meant to address what women do to their own bodies while pregnant causes the cases to collapse. For instance, a recent Mississippi case I wrote about involving a mother charged with murder after her baby was stillborn was tossed out by a judge who ruled that the law wasn’t meant to apply to situations such as hers.

Read the full story here.

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