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Woman charged for drug use in pregnancy
ABC News -
A Tennessee woman is the first to be charged under a new state law that specifically makes it a crime to take drugs while pregnant, calling it "assault."
Mallory Loyola, 26, was arrested this week after both she and her newborn infant tested positive for meth, according to ABC News affilate WATE-TV, Loyola is the first person in the state to prosecuted for the offense.
The law, which just went into effect earlier this month, allows a woman to be "prosecuted for assault for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant" if her infant is harmed or addicted to the drug.
Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens told WATE-TV that the 26-year-old admitted to smoking meth days before giving birth.
"Anytime someone is addicted and they can't get off for their own child, their own flesh and blood, it's sad," he said.
Bivens said he hoped the arrest would deter other pregnant women from drug use.
"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," he said.
The law has come under tremendous opposition from both state and national critics, who say that the law will hinder drug-addicted pregnant women from getting help and treatment.
Read more: ABC News