Elizabeth Nolan Brown on Pregnancy Crimes


Starting in July, new mothers in Tennessee have been held criminally responsible for a baby's birth defects if the problems arise from drug use during pregnancy. Specifically, the law says that a woman "may be prosecuted for assault for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, if her child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug." Elizabeth Nolan Brown notes that penalties include up to 15 years in prison.