Revised Bill Offers Rehabilitation Program For Mothers Of Drug-Addicted Newborns Instead Of Filing Charges
Lawmakers in Nashville, Tennessee are looking closely at a bill that charges mothers with assault when found guilty of having their babies born dependent to drugs. Although it looks like a punishment for the mothers, the House sponsor explains that this will be more like a possible rehabilitation for them.
Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver submitted this bill a few years ago but the particular law was apparently a sunset clause that expires after two years on the books.
Now, Rep. Weaver is bringing the bill back, this time focusing on getting addicted mothers go through a drug court program. These mothers will not face charges if they successfully complete the program anymore.
“They get their life back. They get their children back. They have a job,” Rep. Weaver stated. “There (are) a lot of testimonies. That is why I applaud the drug courts.”
Rep. Weaver added that there will be no sunset clause for this year’s bill and she is expecting it to move through the legislative committee system within weeks.
The bill HB 1168/SB 0659 is said to “bring more attention” to the increasing numbers of women born with babies addicted to drugs.
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