Criminally Pregnant In Tennessee, Part II

pregnant caucasian woman portrait attached with handcuffs isolated studio on white background

Today my guest blogger Dr. Fedup weighs in on my last entry, “Criminally Pregnant,” with his own unique point of view. He gives counterpoints to my arguments, as he feels Tennessee’s law is a good idea. I’ll let him explain his reasoning. His political leanings are somewhat right of center, as you will read.

“I applaud Tennessee’s new law, which makes it a crime to expose a pre-born baby (I don’t believe in using that word fetus, since life begins at conception) to drugs. Too many babies are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, so obviously Tennessee has grown too soft on crime for this to be happening.

“Bill number 1391, already passed by the state’s legislature, needs only the governor’s signature to become law. In short, this bill says a mother can be prosecuted for “an assaultive offense or homicide if she illegally takes a narcotic drug while pregnant and the child is born addicted, is harmed, or dies because of the drug.”

“Their governor, Bill Haslam, goofed last year when he passed that Safe Harbor Law, which eliminated criminal charges for pregnant women who went into treatment. This new law corrects and cancels that law. Some people have said that’s inconsistent, and not enough time passed since the Safe Harbor Law to see if it was going to work or not.

“I say it’s OK to be inconsistent so long as you are putting people in jail.

“There’s nothing in the new bill to prevent pregnant, opioid addicted women who are in methadone or buprenorphine programs from being prosecuted as well, though bill 1391 does say, “Illegally take a narcotic drug while pregnant.” Women who enter such treatments have already taken illegal narcotics while pregnant, or they wouldn’t need treatment.

“My only problem with the new bill, SB 1391, is that it doesn’t go far enough. We should put the drug addict babies in jail, too.

“Think about it. You know those little suckers enjoyed the drugs they were getting through the placenta, and they need to be punished for that. They’re born addicts. Start punishing them right out of the womb. That way, the state can teach them right from wrong as they grow up, right there in the prison system, like we do with all other inmates in Tennessee jails.

“Some people criticize my idea. Some people say we already put too many people in jail. But I say if U.S. history teaches us anything, it’s that taxpayers are always happy to spend more money on jails.

“We must be willing to incarcerate more people, because U.S. citizens are more evil and criminal than people in other parts of the world. They must be, because we put more people in jail per capita than anywhere else. Circular logic? I don’t care, as long as it puts bad people in jail.

“It was a happy day when the U.S. could finally brag that we incarcerate more people per capita, than even Russia or Rwanda. We’re Number One! We put 716 people out of 100,000 into jails or prisons, and Russia only puts 484 out of 100,000 in prisons. We’re beating them almost two to one! [1]

“Lots of bleeding heart liberals will complain about how Tennessee jails aren’t set up for infants. I say we can fix that. After all, aren’t play pens just jail cells, only prettier? These addict babies don’t deserve anything too pretty, and they’ll get used to the bars soon enough.

“No measure is too severe if it will fix the drug problem. My critics point to all the information collected since the 1950’s which indicates incarcerating addicts does nothing to help addiction rates. But I’m telling you that this new send-an-addict-baby-to-jail program will work.

“While we are on the topic of evil pregnant women who harm their babies, let’s discuss nicotine addiction. There’s more medical evidence to show tobacco smoking harms babies than there is to show cocaine harms babies. Let’s put all those mothers who smoke into jail, too, since they are intentionally harming their pre-borns.

“Then let’s take this train of thought to its logical conclusion. In the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, there was a great article about the harm maternal obesity does to the fetus. This article reviewed all of the studies of how obesity affects fetal death and infant death. The conclusion was, “Even modest increases in maternal BMI were associated with increased risk of fetal death, stillbirth, and neonatal, perinatal, and infant death.” [2]

“Sounds to me like it’s time to build jails for the fatties, too. Because the state of Tennessee believes that jail time corrects bad behavior.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate
2. Aune, et al, “Maternal Body Mass Index and the Risk of Fetal Death, Stillbirth, and Infant Death: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” JAMA, 2014; 311(15):1536-1546.

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kevin on April 26, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I hate tennesee. I live in ky and only go there to a outpatient methadone maintenance treatment center cause the one where I live in ky is very wrong in the way they treat there patients. But in tennesee after 120mg it’s up to the common folk if u can get an increase. I want that job with the rubber stamp. “Aw he is 24, must be wanting a better high, aw she had a dirty drug test let’s teach her a lesson, aw his trough is a little high wonder if he really needs it.” How about Web Cam visits with these idiots that make this decision. How about we teach them how to understand what the patient may or may not be feeling. Blood work, cow scores, and questionnaires don’t tell you nothing. It’s what the patient is telling you. Come on. If your a counselor or a doctor, been treating the patient very long you should be able to tell if the person is lieing and how they feel. Atleast somewhat.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Elizabeth Rodriguez on April 29, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Dr. you are spot on correct! I’m saddened to know that this is the state of affairs in the U.S., which is supposed ti be the greatest nation in the world. I’m left scratching my head here, though really.
    addiction is a disease that deserves medical treatment, no different than any other disease or disorder with a behavioral component, yet non compliant gestational diabetics aren’t jailed

    Reply

  3. Posted by Samantha Summers on April 29, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    You are one sick fuck to say they need to throw a baby in jail too bc u know the suckers enjoyed it. Wow. What a piece of shit you are!

    Reply

  4. I agree with you. I was so devastated when social services walked in my hospital room after I have birth to my first child in Memphis tn via c cection. The reason for the visit is bc I was honest and said I took subutex. Luckily- in 2008- I didn’t go to jail and got to take my baby home. However I will Never forget crying and being humiliated for my addiction and feeling like even more of a failure.

    Reply

    • Posted by dbc901028 on May 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      I can only imagine your embarrassment. Recently, I admitted to being on Suboxone while having a tooth extraction and was immediately treated as a ‘high risk’ or ‘complicated’ patient. It was really frustrating and annoying. Whenever I visit any doctor for any healthcare issue, there seems to be a 50/50 chance that they will view me as an addict and treat me as something less than human. Yes, that’s a bold statement, but it’s true.

      Reply

  5. Posted by Tracy Williams on September 17, 2014 at 3:14 am

    Why addicted babies need to go to jail too, where in the first place they are innocents. They don’t have the control in their mother’s addiction. It so happen that they are born with addicted mother.

    Reply

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