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Thread: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy[W:8]

  1. #51
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    Re: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    I've already addressed where you said this before -- if she doesn't want help, she's not going to get it. There are many places she could have gotten help in Knoxville if she wanted it, but clearly she did not want help. You cannot help an addict until they are ready to be helped.
    That's fine and dandy but your missing the bigger picture and quickly dismissing it because it doesn't fully agree with you (debate?)

    Discussing the arrest as you requested in the OP:


    The first arrest applying a new Tennessee law that charges a woman with assault for taking illegal drugs while pregnant has sparked backlash from civil rights groups.

    Mallory Loyola, 26, was arrested Tuesday, two days after giving birth to a baby girl, because she and her newborn tested positive for methamphetamine, Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens said.

    “A woman may be prosecuted for assault for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, if her child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug,” reads a law passed on July 1.

    “Addiction is a very complex issue, and we need to make sure we are doing all that we can to care for our fellow Tennesseans,” said Tennessee Department of Mental Health Commissioner E. Douglas Varney.

    But women’s rights and civil rights groups don’t think the law effectively cares for women who are addicted to drugs, and they said Loyola’s case proves their argument.

    “The state’s newly expanded fetal assault law is designed to humiliate and punish, not treat or protect,” said a statement from the group, National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

    In this specific case, the group said, the law doesn't even apply. The law stipulates that a new mother can be charged if she was using narcotics while pregnant, and Loyola was not, it said. Methamphetamine is a stimulant, not a narcotic, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

    National Advocates for Pregnant Women said as a result of Loyola’s arrest, the group has already received calls from pregnant women “paralyzed with fear” from seeking prenatal care because they don’t want to risk getting arrested.

    In a letter to Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, urging him to veto the law, The ACLU pointed out that the American Academy of Pediatrics has founded, “punitive measures taken toward pregnant women, such as criminal prosecution and incarceration, have no proven benefits for infant health.”

    “By focusing on punishing women rather than promoting healthy pregnancies, the state is only deterring women struggling with alcohol or drug dependency from seeking the pre-natal care they need,” said Thomas H. Castelli, legal director of the Tennessee ACLU in response to Loyola’s arrest.

    Bivens said he thinks the law will have the opposite effect, and motivate addicted mothers-to-be to seek care.

    "I think people need to be accountable for their actions, especially when you have another human being about to be born into this world," Bivens said.

    More than 900 infants experienced drug withdrawal in Tennessee in 2013, according to the state's Department of Health. Bivens said that number "saddens" him and he hopes the new law "is for the betterment of the child."

    Loyola is being held at the Monroe County Jail on $2,000 bond. Bivens said he does not know if she's been offered treatment, or where the baby is being cared for.
    First published July 14 2014, 11:03 AM

    Elisha Fieldstadt

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    So, as others point out, what personal actively will be criminalized next? Where is the consent for search and seizure? Most importantly, now that she's incarcerated is she getting help? If she wants help now and not offered the help is that right. Or does your insistence of people wanting to get help only apply to people who have not gotten caught.
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  2. #52
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    Re: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    I somewhat agree with you, that women (everyone, really) need help with addiction. Thing is, there are places out there that help. You have to want help, though, to get it. There are scores of addiction counselors in Knoxville, and she could have gotten help there, if she wanted it. But you can't force someone to get help, even if they are pregnant. You can only threaten them with incarceration if they continue down the path they are on. She chose to go down the path she was on, and now she is paying the penalty for it, and it's possible that the baby is as well.
    Do you know something about Knoxville, or are you just assuming that because it's a decent sized city that there are 'scores of counselors' there, and that they would see this woman? The reason I'm asking is I do some work for a Knoxville charity that helps male addicts, mostly homeless, and all of them poor, and there are very FEW options for them. We have a long waiting list, and the vast majority of rehab places in town just aren't realistic options for people without good insurance that will cover the cost, or with an extra 5-10k laying around, which isn't the case with most meth addicts from Madisonville, which is very poor and very rural. So the more realistic options were probably AA or NA meetings.

    I actually agree with the tough love sentiment to a large extent. If I thought hanging a crime over her head would help protect the child, that's fine. It's a misdemeanor, and I assume the Drug Courts in many counties, and all the larger counties, would preside over most of the cases, and she'd be offered a chance at complying with a court supervised treatment program before spending any time in jail. I couldn't find that Monroe County has a drug court, so who knows if that's an option or not where she lives.

    My problem is the state will fund a jail cell no matter what, but funding for treatment is spotty at best. We get occasional grants, and they last a year or two, but it's not enough to sustain a PROGRAM (we often get grants for treating mental illness) much less facilities for the poor. They can't get up and running based on current funding levels with any confidence that funding will exist even one year in the future, so it's tough for the programs to survive and most do not. Other facilities will take on poor customers when state/local money is available, but there are very few slots open at them because they have to keep the business model focused on patients with insurance or money.

    If I was confident that a pregnant woman could get treatment during pregnancy, and just decided she's rather smoke meth, I have much fewer concerns about the assault charge, but I'm not, and especially in counties like Monroe county. And of course Tennessee didn't expand Medicaid which might provide these women with decent options before she got pregnant. Medicaid will generally provide care AFTER she's already pregnant. Anyway, all this is a long way to say that the problem isn't so much with the concept as the execution and in Tennessee I can promise the execution will be far short of ideal for these women.

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    Re: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy[W:8]

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    New Mother Charged With Assault for Using Meth During Pregnancy - NBC News

    My thoughts are, if she hadn't been using illegal drugs to start with, she wouldn't have been arrested.

    And can we talk about the arrest, and not turn this into a pro-life/pro-choice argument?
    Should be charged with attempted manslaughter.

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    Re: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy[W:8]

    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly View Post
    My thoughts are, if she hadn't been using illegal drugs to start with, she wouldn't have been arrested.

    And can we talk about the arrest, and not turn this into a pro-life/pro-choice argument?
    This is where I think charges like this show the hypocrisy of Pro-Choice. If a woman has the right to do to her body what she wants to, then this charge should be a posession charge and not an assault charge.

    I know you didn't want this to happen with mentioning pro-choice, but it goes hand in hand with this situation.

    If a baby can be aborted, then this charge should only be a possession charge. That would at least be consistant.

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    Re: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy

    Quote Originally Posted by MACS-24 View Post
    So, as others point out, what personal actively will be criminalized next? Where is the consent for search and seizure? Most importantly, now that she's incarcerated is she getting help? If she wants help now and not offered the help is that right. Or does your insistence of people wanting to get help only apply to people who have not gotten caught.
    Yeah, that's the Sheriff who arrested her answering that he's not sure if she's been offered treatment. He's not in the business of caring for addicts, but the problem is the two aren't linked in any way. That's exactly my problem with the 'charge them with crime and if there is treatment available, fine, if not then well that's too bad' approach.

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    Re: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy[W:8]

    Quote Originally Posted by CRUE CAB View Post
    Should be charged with attempted manslaughter.
    Well that makes sense. I suppose you'll charge all the wealthy women who have a glass of wine while pregnant with attempted manslaughter too. And we'll fill up the jails with pregnant women, and then have a few thousand extra kids in foster care while they wait on mom to serve out her 15 year sentence. Good plan. Don't see any problem with that at all....

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    Re: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy[W:8]

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Well that makes sense. I suppose you'll charge all the wealthy women who have a glass of wine while pregnant with attempted manslaughter too. And we'll fill up the jails with pregnant women, and then have a few thousand extra kids in foster care while they wait on mom to serve out her 15 year sentence. Good plan. Don't see any problem with that at all....
    Glass of wine, hits of meth. Yea, same thing. Please man, get real. Quit with the extremes.

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    Re: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy[W:8]

    She should also be sterilized. But we don't do that here under any circumstances. We just continue to ruin our gene pool. Third world crap hole here we come.

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    Re: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Yeah, that's the Sheriff who arrested her answering that he's not sure if she's been offered treatment. He's not in the business of caring for addicts, but the problem is the two aren't linked in any way. That's exactly my problem with the 'charge them with crime and if there is treatment available, fine, if not then well that's too bad' approach.
    I don't know. I have no response to this. My only addiction in this life has been cigarettes, so I can't begin to understand addiction to meth or anything else. I will say that I can't understand why, when they are straight, why they can't make the conscious decision to try to get help for the baby's sake. If they don't want to get help for themselves, fine, but once they get pregnant, there's more to think about. I quit smoking when I got pregnant. I didn't want to. It was just a matter of not being selfish, and putting my own wants aside for what was better for the baby.

    Again - I've never been an addict to anything other than cigarettes, so I won't claim to know if the addiction is just as strong. I do know that she would not be the first addict to get help, because she loved her baby enough to try to get help. She just has to want to, and obviously this woman didn't want to.

    I could almost guarantee that, if she walked into an ER and said, "I'm pregnant and addicted to meth. Can you help me?" They would help her. If not, they'd set themselves up for liability, as well as bad publicity.
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    Re: New Mother Charged with Assault for using Meth during Pregnancy[W:8]

    Quote Originally Posted by CRUE CAB View Post
    Glass of wine, hits of meth. Yea, same thing. Please man, get real. Quit with the extremes.
    If you want to make a serious proposal, I'll treat it seriously. In the meantime, the point was alcohol abuse during pregnancy is incredibly harmful to the kids, same as abuse of other drugs. Occasional use of any drugs including alcohol is less harmful, but the only safe level is zero or nearly zero. So I'm not sure what use you have in mind that rises to the level of attempted manslaughter, but you certainly can't draw a line with alcohol on one side and meth on the other. And the story doesn't indicate how often the person used meth. It's a safe bet that it was regular use, perhaps daily or more, but there is no evidence to that effect.

    Besides, do you think a charge of attempted manslaughter motivates women to get help? Perhaps, but if the help isn't available, then what? Fill up the jails with drug abusers who get pregnant?

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