Tennessee Arrests First Mother Under Its New Pregnancy Criminalization Law

Source: TARA CULP-RESSLER/Think Progress

Bond is now set for the East Tennessee mother charged with assault after she and her newborn baby tested postive for drugs.

A judge set a $2,000 bond for Mallory Loyola, jail officials tell WBIR. She also has a court date set for later this month.

Loyola is the first mother to be charged under Tennessee’s new law that allows prosecutors to pursue legal action against women who use drugs while pregnant.  Mallory Loyola, 26, of Madisonville gave birth to a baby girl on Sunday, July 6th. Two days later, Loyola was arrested and charged with simple assault.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Loyola and her young daughter both tested positive for amphetamine at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Deputies say Loyola admitted to smoking meth three to four days before giving birth to her child.

State officials say to their knowledge Loyola is the first in the state to be charged under a new Tennessee law that took effect on July 1st. The new law states “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”.

“It’s sad to see a child not getting an opportunity to come drug-free and given a chance. We want to see our children have a chance in life,” said Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens. “Children need the chance and it’s sad when you see children who come out born into the world already addicted to drugs.”

To read this article in its entirety visit WBIR.Com