Missouri bill would criminalize using drugs while pregnant
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Newly proposed Missouri legislation would make it a crime for a woman to use drugs while pregnant.
Rep. Jered Taylor, a Republican from Nixa, says his bill is intended to get women into treatment before they give birth. He says the bill would push offenders into drug court, where their sentences would be deferred if they completed treatment.
Farah Diaz-Tello is a spokeswoman for National Advocates for Pregnant Women. She says threatening pregnant women with legal penalties could drive them away from seeking health care. She says some women left Tennessee rather than risk arrest after a similar law passed there.
Missouri's legislative session starts Wednesday.