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Miss. Law Forces Paternity Tests from Some Teen Moms

If a girl younger than 16 gives birth and won't name the father, a new Mississippi law — likely the first of its kind in the country — says authorities must collect umbilical cord blood and run DNA tests to prove paternity as a step toward prosecuting statutory rape cases.

Supporters say the law is intended to chip away at Mississippi's teen pregnancy rate, which has long been one of the highest in the nation. But critics say that though the procedure is painless, it invades the medical privacy of the mother, father and baby. And questions abound: At roughly $1,000 a pop, who will pay for the DNA tests in the country's poorest state? Even after test results arrive, can prosecutors compel a potential father to submit his own DNA and possibly implicate himself in a crime? How long will the state keep the DNA on file?

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant says the DNA tests could lead to prosecution of grown men who have sex with underage girls.

Source: AP. Read full article. (link)

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  • Anders||

    Excellent privacy cases but there is a Law Enforcement issue here. Statutory Rape is a crime, and Poh-leeeeese is allegedly supposed to solve crimes.

    As for paying for the tests, that's easy. Re-allocate the money currently used for SWAT and WMD detection away from the small towns who seriously have no need of either. Reuse that DHS cheese!

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