A hearing for an east Tennessee mother whose baby tested positive for drugs at birth has been pushed back until July 29.
According to ABC affiliate WATE-TV, Mallory Loyola was charged with assault in Monroe County under a new controversial state law that makes it a crime for women to take drugs while they’re pregnant.
Loyola, 26, gave birth, July 6, at UT Medical Center and her daughter tested positive for methamphetamine.
Loyola was arrested two days later as she was being discharged from the hospital, WATE-TV reported.
She allegedly has a history of meth-related arrests in Monroe County.
Sheriff Bill Bivens told the station Loyola admitted to smoking meth just a few days before giving birth.
He hopes Loyola’s arrest will send a warning to other pregnant women to get help.
A neighbor and high school classmate of Loyola’s spoke about the situation.
“It’s heartbreaking. You don’t want to bring a child into any kind of danger. The innocent babies, they’re not choosing to do those things. You’re the one that is in charge of taking care of your body to make sure the baby stays healthy,” said Kayla Guthrie. She’s also a new mother.
Loyola is the first woman to be charged under a new law that Gov. Bill Haslam signed earlier this year that makes it criminal for a mother to use illegal drugs while pregnant.
However, it does allow women to enter a treatment program before the birth and use it as a defense afterwards as long as they successfully complete it.
*WATE-TV contributed to this report