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Resource ID: #26715
Source:The Nation/The Investigative Fund
The piece looked at the effects of a new law in Tennessee that made it a criminal assault to give birth to a baby with drugs in its system. After a six-month investigation involving interviews with pregnant women, doctors, and health workers, we were able to document a consistent pattern of women being driven underground to avoid the fate they've seen in mug shots on the local news. Among many narratives: We learned of and/or spoke to women avoiding prenatal care and drug treatment in order to protect themselves from the punitive effects of the law; We learned of and/or spoke to women switching hospitals, avoiding hospital births, and even leaving the state to circumvent the law; We heard about pregnant women seeking drug treatment and being turned away for liability reasons.