‘Coat Hanger’ Rep. Introduces Bill to Imprison Pregnant Women for 10+ Years for Drug Use

A new bill introduced by Mississippi GOP Rep. Lester “Bubba” Carpenter (District 1) would require women in the state who are arrested under the Controlled Substances Law to submit to drug testing. A positive test would result in her being charged with child abuse, punishable by ten years to life.

Under HB 202, state law regarding felonious child abuse would be altered to include the bolded text below:

“Any person who shall intentionally (i) burn any child, (ii) torture any child***, (iii) except in self-defense or in order to prevent bodily harm to a third party, whip, strike or otherwise abuse or mutilate any child in such a manner as to cause serious bodily harm, or (iv) test positive for a controlled substance while pregnant as provided by Section 1 of House Bill No.     , 2013 Regular Session, shall be guilty of felonious abuse of a child and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment in the custy of the Department of Corrections for life or such lesser term of imprisonment as the court may determine, but not less than ten (10) years.”

A pregnant woman found with a little THC in her system could be sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in prison. A fetus would be officially recognized as a child by the law and protected under child abuse laws. Being a pregnant woman would make you a target for automatic drug testing.

Bubba Carpenter was featured on the Rachel Maddow Show after a video was leaked of him bragging about having helped passed a law intended to shut down the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. In the video, he mocked “poor pitiful women” who would be forced to use coat hangers for abortions:

“Literally, we stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi, legally…So we’ve done that. I was proud of it. The governor signed it into law. And of course, there you have the other side. They’re like, ‘Well, the poor pitiful women that can’t afford to go out of state are just going to start doing them at home with a coat hanger.’ That’s what we’ve heard over and over and over. But hey, you have to have moral values. You have to start somewhere, and that’s what we’ve decided to do. This became law and the governor signed it, and I think for one time, we were first in the nation in the state of Mississippi.”

Contact Bubba Carpenter on Facebook, by email at carpenter@house.ms.gov or by phone at 601-359-3374.

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Ashton Pittman

Ashton is the founder and editor of Deep South Progressive. He studies political science and journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi. Follow him on Twitter @ashtonpittman.

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7 Comments

  • Reply January 20, 2013

    Anonymous

    Well, I sure wish this law was in effect when my adopted son’s birth mother was pregnant with him. She refused to stop drinking for her entire pregnancy and sentenced him to a lifetime of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He has been, and will be, mentally handicapped his entire life. The most unfortunate thing is that this tragedy was something that was ONE HUNDRED PERCENT PREVENTABLE if she would have only stopped drinking, OR if the law had made her stop! He is a wonderful child, even with his handicap, but I still grieve for the person he could have been. He will never be fully independent, never drive, never marry, because of the selfish choices of his birth mother. I would think anyone would gladly sentence a birth mother who is recklessly intent on doing permanent harm to her child to nine months in jail in order to prevent this kind of needless, senseless tragedy to be heaped on innocent children. What is nine months in comparison to a lifetime sentence of mental retardation???

    • Reply January 20, 2013

      Anonymous

      Instead of this being a war on women, it is, in fact, a war on children like my son I described in the above comment.

  • Reply January 21, 2013

    Anonymous

    maybe he’s like that because of your poor parenting skills.

    • Reply January 21, 2013

      Anonymous

      Oh…I said ‘He is a wonderful child…’. And you *would* equate that with poor parenting skills…lol. Looks like it is your parents who had the poor parenting skills.

      ALOE

  • Reply January 21, 2013

    Anonymous

    Maybe he is like what? Parenting skills do not cause FAS, drinking in utero does. How old are you,…Six? Oh….no, my six year old knows better than that.

    ALOE

  • Reply February 5, 2013

    Pregnancy

    This test is done to test a woman’s fertility using her blood and is usually performed on older women. Women approaching the age of 40 years do not have much time on their side. Scientifically, it is known the ovarian eggs decrease both in quantity and quality with tie.

  • […] “Treatment” is a vague word. For a number of states that have proposed bills to deal with drug abuse while pregnant, those who are found to be abusing drugs have seen charges under “chemical endangerment” laws that have put them behind bars. Others have faced murder charges when their babies were born prematurely.  Mississippi even went as far as to try for a new law to drug test pregnant women arrested in related drug crimes, with the intent to charge her with child abuse if she tested positive. […]

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