A controversial new law in Tennessee was put in place earlier this month making it illegal for women to do drugs while pregnant.   26-year-old Mallory Loyola was the first to be charged under the new law when she, and her newborn baby, tested positive for methamphetamine after giving birth last Sunday.

Women can be prosecuted for 'assault for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant' under the new law according to a reportLoyola, who has a history of drug use and meth-related arrests, admitted to police that she had smoked meth days before delivering her baby.  She faces up to a year in prison.

Those opposed to the new law say it will only propagate troubled women who are not seeking prenatal care.  However, officials in Tennessee are hoping that the assault charges in addition to Loyola's recent arrest will encourage women to stop using and abusing drugs during pregnancy.  The law does provide an option for pregnant women to enter a treatment program prior to, and completing it successfully after giving birth as a defense.

"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," said Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens.  But Thomas Castelli, legal director for the ACLU of Tennessee said "This dangerous law unconstitutionally singles out new mothers struggling with addiction for criminal assault charges."

Do you think a similar law should be implemented in Michigan?  Does this law help troubled women or make their situations worse?  Let us know in the comments section below.