Fetal assault bill fails, law will be discontinued

Baby, Newborn, Birth Generic
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A law allowing assault charges to be filed against new mothers for prenatal drug use will be removed after failing in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

WPLN-FM reports the bill failed Tuesday on a 3-3 vote.

Tennessee passed the law two years ago amid a rising epidemic of babies who were born addicted to drugs like heroin and pain pills. The law had a “sunset” provision, which means it had to be renewed this year or it would be discontinued.

Critics of the bill, including doctors, argued the threat of arrest sent women into hiding.

Supporters said it appeared the bill was working, but there still wasn’t enough evidence to determine its merits.

The station reports the law should be removed by July.

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