Bill could put some Tennessee mothers in jail - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Bill could put some Tennessee mothers in jail

There is no shortage of opinions on the bill passed in the Tennessee House and Senate that would allow women who harm their fetuses with illegal drug use during pregnancy to be charged with crimes; they could even be jailed. There is no shortage of opinions on the bill passed in the Tennessee House and Senate that would allow women who harm their fetuses with illegal drug use during pregnancy to be charged with crimes; they could even be jailed.

(WMC-TV) - A Tennessee bill is aiming to punish mothers should their child be harmed in any way during pregnancy.

There is no shortage of opinions on the bill passed in the Tennessee House and Senate that would allow women who harm their fetuses with illegal drug use during pregnancy to be charged with crimes; they could even be jailed.

State and national advocates for constitutional and reproductive rights are banding together to convince the governor to veto the bill.

"We're very worried that women will feel pressured to get unwanted abortions, because women are not going to seek prenatal care that they need, because they are trying to avoid jail time," said Allison Glass, Healthy and Free Tennessee.

Defense attorney Leslie Ballin says the bill is fraught with problems including deciding when does life actually begin.

"It just opens up a whole can of worms that I don't think the government needs to be in," said Ballin.

Resident Janice Hardy agrees.

"I don't agree a person should drink or take drugs while pregnant. I don't agree with that, but that is a person's body. When is it going to stop?" she said.

It could be a week before the bill reaches the governor's office. He will review it and decide whether to sign it.

Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.
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