FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2014
Hedy Weinberg, ACLU-TN Executive Director, 615-320-7142
NASHVILLE – The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is extremely disappointed that Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation singling out new mothers struggling with addiction for criminal prosecution. The organization remains strongly opposed to the new law.
This legislation makes Tennessee the first state to authorize the filing of assault charges, carrying up to fifteen years in prison, against a woman who decides to remain pregnant despite suffering from a substance abuse problem.
In a recent letter, ACLU-TN had urged the governor to veto SB 1391/HB 1295 because it raises serious constitutional concerns regarding equal treatment under the law and jeopardizes the health and well-being of Tennesseans.
The following can be attributed to Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee:
“ACLU-TN is extremely disappointed that Governor Haslam signed this dangerous legislation, which punishes women and does nothing to promote healthy pregnancies. A pregnant woman struggling with drug or alcohol dependency will now be deterred from seeking the pre-natal care she needs. ACLU-TN wants to hear from any woman concerned about the impact this law will have on her.”
Information about the ACLU of Tennessee is available at: www.aclu-tn.org
People concerned about the impact this law will have on them or their families should contact ACLU-TN at www.aclu-tn.org/gethelp.htm.