Fetal Assault Bill Fails, Law To Be Discontinued

Posted at 1:47 PM, Mar 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 14:47:20-04

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.

According to 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 meant 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.

Reports said the law should be removed by July.