A bill introduced in the Tennessee legislature would mandate drug and alcohol testing for any pregnant woman who meets one or more of the following criteria:
(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.
Any woman who tests positive for alcohol or drugs would then be referred to a mandatory treatment program. If she refuses to be tested, tests positive and refuses treatment, or misses two appointments at treatment, she gets referred to child protective services.
This would be constitutionaly dubious and fairly horrifying if it were only limited to illicit drugs. But I’m fairly certain that isn’t actually illegal to consume alcohol while you’re pregnant. In fact, the “not a drop” approach to alcohol and pregnancy is overblown hysteria.
I have no idea if this bill has a chance of passing. Let’s hope not.