Proposed Tennessee Bill Would Subject Poor Women to Mandatory Drug Tests


Feministing
March 3, 2009

Rachel at Women’s Health News brings our attention to this proposed bill in Tennessee that would target certain pregnant women for drug and alcohol testing.

(c) The department, in promulgating rules to implement this act, shall consider the following as indications of the necessity for alcohol or drug testing: (1) No prenatal care; (2) Late prenatal care after twenty-four (24) weeks gestation; (3) Incomplete prenatal care; (4) Abruptio placentae; (5) Intrauterine fetal death; (6) Preterm labor of no obvious cause; (7) Intrauterine growth retardation of no obvious cause; (8) Previously known alcohol or drug abuse; or (9) Unexplained congenital anomalies.

[efoods]As Rachel explains in comments, the bill’s regulations would target low-income women, "the women who may not have health insurance or time off work or money or transportation to get prenatal care, who are going to have those same barriers to going through drug rehabilitation."

Of course, tactics like this regarding pregnant women is nothing new. In fact, it’s a trend.

Aunt B. says it best:

In other words, the precedent they’re setting is that, once you are pregnant, your body is not your own. You no longer know what’s best for you. Your doctor no longer knows what’s best for you. You are not allowed to not realize you’re pregnant. You’re not allowed to be afraid. You’re not allowed to be too poor to go to the doctor. You have to do what the State tells you to do while you’re pregnant, because, while you’re pregnant, your body is not your own.

(Mamapundit has more, as well.)


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