Mother charged with drug assault on fetus


Mallory Loyola, 26, was arrested this week after both she and her newborn infant tested positive for meth, according to ABC News affiliate WATE-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee. 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.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is actively seeking to challenge the law, which they describe as raising "serious constitutional concerns regarding equal treatment under the law."

"This dangerous law unconstitutionally singles out new mothers struggling with addiction for criminal assault charges," Thomas Castelli, legal director of the ACLU Tennessee, said in a statement. "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."

Just before Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill in April, Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy at the time, said the federal government didn't want to "criminalize" addiction.

"What's important is that we create environments where we're really diminishing the stigma and the barriers, particularly for pregnant women, who often have a lot of shame and guilt about their substance abuse disorders," Botticelli said, according to The Nashville Tennessean. "We know that it's usually a much more effective treatment and less costly to our taxpayers if we make sure that we're treating folks."

Haslam released a statement after signing the bill saying the intent of the law is to "give law enforcement and district attorneys a tool to address illicit drug use among pregnant women through treatment programs."

Loyola was released on $2,000 bail and was charged with a misdemeanor according to WATE-TV. The law allows anyone charged to use entering a treatment program before birth and successfully completing it afterwards as a defense.

Calls to Loyola's family were not immediately returned.

Thanks to AussieRooJitsu for the find!

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Invisible Lats Syndrome site profile image  

7/16/14 11:12 PM by Invisible Lats Syndrome

"Show me who's argued that abortion is acceptable right up until the birth." Ayn Rand did.

droplogic site profile image  

7/16/14 11:08 PM by droplogic

MSNBC - "Life begins when the parents feel it" also love her using the argument that abortion is higher in countries where it's illegal as support to legalize it everywhere. Talk about shooting yourself in the face. Marijuana, Prostitution, Guns. What a bunch of fucking loons the left are.

droplogic site profile image  

7/16/14 10:58 PM by droplogic

Strangely enough they're frothing at the mouth at conservatives who want to stiffen the border because of the children.

Ridgeback site profile image  

7/16/14 10:38 PM by Ridgeback

There was this Jewish liberal journalist (I am forgetting his name right now) who became pro-life after he did some work on infanticide in the US and when he told his liberals friends about it they just shrugged their shoulders and didn't care.  

pcuzz site profile image  

7/16/14 7:00 PM by pcuzz

"Show me who's argued that abortion is acceptable right up until the birth." Many Democrats are on record supporting Partial Birth Abortions and the DNC platform is that its all part of a woman's choice.

ILoveWatchingJonesBoneShogun site profile image  

7/16/14 1:12 PM by ILoveWatchingJonesBoneShogun

I think we all agree that this woman deserves to be charged given how far along she was

Dogo site profile image  

7/15/14 8:34 PM by Dogo

"So if a woman is caught smoking crack at 16 weeks and they charge her with possession and assault she can get the assault charges dropped by killing her baby?"Sure, she could probably get an abortion to avoid the misdemeanor. Of course the law also says that if she were to enter into and complete a treatment program that could be used as a defense also. But none of that has any real bearing on the actual case where they have charged someone. Since she was full term, used drugs and the baby came into the world with a positive drug test.

ILoveWatchingJonesBoneShogun site profile image  

7/15/14 7:55 PM by ILoveWatchingJonesBoneShogun

Im pro-life but if the rules to justify abortion is the child isn't a person until a certain stage therefore they don't have rights, then my point is consistant with the rules that exist. It doesn't mean I would advocate it. Sometimes you have to use examples like this to make a point, let the other side argue your side for you and realize the consequences of their logic at a later time

AussieRooJitsu site profile image  

7/15/14 7:52 PM by AussieRooJitsu

I guess it's always going to depend on how long the women has been pregnant, but IMO there should is a huge difference between punching a woman in the stomach while she isn't pregnant to punching a woman in the stomach and the fetus dying because of it

AussieRooJitsu site profile image  

7/15/14 7:50 PM by AussieRooJitsu

Are you serious?