Tennessee Pregnancy Criminalization Law (SB 1391)


Number: SB 1391

Status: Current

Proposed: February 14, 2013

Enacted: April 29, 2014

Link: www.capitol.tn.gov...

Topics: ,

Last updated May 2, 2014.

SB 1391 would amend Tennessee’s fetal homicide law (Tenn. Code. Ann. §§ 39-13-107 & 39-13-214) to allow a woman to be prosecuted for the illegal use of a narcotic while pregnant, if her child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug and the addiction or harm is a result of her illegal use of a narcotic drug taken while pregnant.

This bill would allow women to be charged with aggravated assault, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, if they have a pregnancy complication after using illegal drugs.

Medical experts are opposed to criminalizing pregnancy outcomes resulting from drug use, because it can discourage women who use drugs from seeking prenatal care, or even encourage them to abort a wanted pregnancy rather than risk prosecution. Even some anti-choice groups are opposed to the bill because it could encourage more abortions. (Source.)


Companion bill to HB 1295.