Women In Ohio Can Take Fentanyl And Other Opioids While Pregnant, Court Rules

The Fifth District Court of Appeals in Ohio has ruled that a pregnant woman cannot be criminally charged for injecting fentanyl and other opioids into her body while pregnant.

Fifth District Court of Appeals Judges Craig Baldwin, Andrew King, and William Hoffman ruled May 22 that it is not a crime for women to inject themselves with drugs on the way to deliver a baby, according to a press release from the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s office.

Previously, Ohio law contended that “No person shall knowingly do any of the following: By any means, … administer a controlled substance to a pregnant woman … or cause a pregnant woman to use a controlled substance, when the offender knows that the woman is pregnant or is reckless in that regard,” the release stated. The court’s May 22nd ruling added an element to the law however, requiring the administrator of the drugs to be someone other than the mother in order to be criminally charged. In so doing, the prosecutor’s office argued, “the court wrote its own version of the law, and decriminalized previously prohibited behavior.”

Fentanyl_Oxy_M30_2 by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is licensed under Creative Commons

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