|Drug-Addicted Moms Need Treatment, Not Jail Time!|
Tennessee recently passed a law that will jail mothers whose babies test positive for illegal drugs in their system. But this law only makes it less likely that women will seek treatment for their addictions, putting themselves and their babies in even greater danger.
Last week, a 26-year-old new mother who had smoked methamphetamines shortly before giving birth was charged with a misdemeanor assault. She could face a year in jail.
For one thing, Tennessee’s new law focuses on babies born with narcotics in their bodies; meth is not a narcotic. But more importantly, the law makes it less likely that mothers will seek treatment for themselves or their newborns out of fear that they’ll be arrested or checked into a mental institution.
Plus, doctors say that r ipping babies away from their mothers is actually dangerous for the children — and it certainly doesn’t help the mothers shake their habits, either.
This law is a reactive, old-fashioned policy that does far more harm than good. Tell Tennessee to offer drug-addicted mothers treatment rather than throwing them in jail.
Thank you for taking action,