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Bill could charge mothers with assault for using drugs while pregnant in Tennessee

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers are moving to criminalize using drugs while pregnant.

House Bill 1168, filed just last week by Sen. Janice Bowling and Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, both Republicans, would charge pregnant women with assault if their drug use ends up hurting their child..

In this case, assault would include physical harm to the child or passing on an addiction to the child.

If the mother is in an addiction recovery program before giving birth, stays in the program through delivery and finishes the program, the mother could see less severe charges.

If approved, this act would go into effect on July 1, 2019.

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