“Tennessee has become the first state in the nation to pass a law criminalizing women for their pregnancy outcomes. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam took the 10 days allotted to him to consider the advice of doctors, addiction experts and reproductive health groups urging him to veto the punitive and dangerous measure that allows prosecutors to charge a woman with criminal assault if she uses illegal drugs during her pregnancy and her fetus or newborn is considered harmed as a result. Haslam ignored these recommendations — and the recommendations of nearly every major medical association, including the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy — and signed the measure anyway.”
This is unfortunate. This law has everything to do with moralizing drug behavior rather than the goal of reducing drug use during pregnancy. Otherwise, why limit only to illegal drugs? Why not tobacco and alcohol, which can also damage fetuses? The fact that this law falls the heaviest on poor (and thus, likely minority) women should not be lost either.