Date: 17 April 2014
Source: National Advocates for Pregnant Women
The state of Tennessee has just passed a law that would allow criminal assault charges to be filed against women who use illegal drugs during pregnancy. The bill has been passed by a majority and is now waiting for approval. If the governor neither vetoes nor signs it, the bill becomes law.
Criminalising pregnant drug-using women will make it harder for pregnant women to seek health care, at a time when they urgently need it. The law will have a wider impact also, as it has the potential to make a criminal of any pregnant woman who suffers a loss or gives birth to a baby with health problems.
Opposition is growing, with the New York Times publishing an editorial calling on Tennessee's Governor Haslam to veto the law. The editorial clearly stated that prosecutors should have no role in overseeing prenatal care.
To call for a veto of SB1391, please sign the petition on RH Reality Check.