New Post has been published on http://www.dreamindemon.com/2014/07/14/mallory-loyola-woman-charged-tennessee-law-criminalizes-drug-pregnancy/
Mallory Loyola First Woman Charged Under New Tennessee Law That Criminalizes Drug Use During Pregnancy
KNOXVILLE, TN – Mallory Loyola has made her family proud by becoming the first woman to be charged under a controversial Tennessee law that makes it a crime to take drugs while pregnant.
The 26-year-old was arrested and charged with assault after both she and her newborn infant tested positive for meth. The law allows a woman to be charged with assault if it’s found she illegally used a narcotic drug while pregnant and her infant ends up harmed or addicted to the drug.
Unfortunately for Loyola, this new law just went into effect this month, and she admitted to police that her infant tested positive for meth because she smoked meth just days before giving birth. The charge is a misdemeanor, and Loyola has been released on $2,000 bail.
Lawmakers hope this new law will help deter other women from using drugs while pregnant. “Hopefully it will send a signal to other women who are pregnant and have a drug problem to seek help. That’s what we want them to do,” said Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens.
However, the law has its critics who don’t feel this is the way situations like this should be handled.
“This dangerous law unconstitutionally singles out new mothers struggling with addiction for criminal assault charges,” Thomas Castelli, legal director of the ACLU Tennessee, said in a statement. “By focusing on punishing women rather than promoting healthy pregnancies, the state is only deterring women struggling with alcohol or drug dependency from seeking the pre-natal care they need.”
Personally, I agree with him. The only thing charging pregnant women with substance abuse problems is going to do is cost taxpayers more money. It won’t solve a thing. I think Michael Botticelli, former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, summed it up best when he came out against the new law.
“What’s important is that we create environments where we’re really diminishing the stigma and the barriers, particularly for pregnant women, who often have a lot of shame and guilt about their substance abuse disorders,” he said. “We know that it’s usually a much more effective treatment and less costly to our taxpayers if we make sure that we’re treating folks.”
The law does take drug treatment into account, allowing a woman who was in drug treatment before giving birth and successfully completed treatment afterwards, to use that as a defense if charged.
Maybe one of these days we’ll go back to treating people with addictions as patients, not as criminals. I know the public want their “instant justice” when it comes to certain crimes, but drug laws like this never work in society’s favor any more than the knee-jerk laws named after a bullied teen.
All drug laws have ever done is create another revenue stream for the states that enforce them, while ensuring addiction and mental illness remain cloaked with stigma and shame.
Some of you may feel my above statement is highly hypocritical, especially since I’m offering this meth-addict up for public shaming. For those people I would ask that they not confuse me pointing out simple facts as me giving a shit about which direction society decides to travel. I’m just a nihilist with a website.