Posted by megablogger at 11:58 PM. Placed in eHealth category
By Emily Le Coz
JACKSON, Mississippi (Reuters) – Mississippi will need doctors to acquire umbilical cord blood from infants born to some young mothers, beneath a new legislation meant to identify statutory rapists and decrease the state’s rate of teenage pregnancy, the optimum in the region.
The evaluate, which will take result on July one and is the very first of its type in the region, targets particular mothers who ended up 16 or younger at the time of conception. Beneath the law, doctors and midwives will be expected to retrieve umbilical wire blood in cases the place the father is 21 or older or when the baby’s paternity is in concern.
Samples will be stored at the state medical examiner’s business office for tests in the function that police imagine the lady was the target of statutory rape. But they will not routinely be entered into the state’s criminal DNA database.
Supporters of the law say it gives an critical new resource to stop more mature men from having sexual intercourse with more youthful girls. Critics argue, however, that it violates privacy and will do little to prevent teen being pregnant.
“We think it’s a very invasive law to a woman who is presently in a vulnerable scenario,” mentioned Carol Penick, executive director of the Women’s Fund of Mississippi, a nonprofit group focused to women’s legal rights.
Mississippi sales opportunities the country in teenager dwell-delivery prices with 55 out of one,000 infants born to youthful women between the ages of fifteen and 19, according to 2010 data from the Facilities for Condition Manage and Prevention. The national regular was 34.2 dwell births for each one,000 populace and the least expensive was 15.7, in New Hampshire, the CDC noted.
Governor Phil Bryant mentioned, “As governor, I am critical about confronting and minimizing teenager being pregnant in Mississippi. Sadly, element of this epidemic is pushed by sexual offenders who prey on youthful ladies. This measure gives law enforcement with yet another tool to help determine these males and deliver them to justice.”
Mississippi is the 1st condition to move this sort of a law, explained the bill’s creator, Republican state Consultant Andy Gipson. The state will shell out for the charges of the assortment and tests of wire blood, Gipson explained, introducing that testing will be performed as essential as portion of felony proceedings. An estimate of individuals expenses was not nevertheless accessible.
Bryant also championed a 2012 condition law demanding medical doctors to protect fetal tissue in abortions involving girls below fourteen if they suspect the pregnancy resulted from a intercourse crime towards a small.
UNCHARTED Authorized TERRITORY
The most current measure places Mississippi in uncharted territory and opens it to legal difficulties, in accordance to Matt Steffey, a constitutional regulation professor at Mississippi Higher education Faculty of Legislation.
“The argument is that the DNA is deserted or about to be abandoned as health care squander, and a individual does not have constitutional privateness more than trash,” he mentioned. “But I feel folks are understandably anxious about the authorities amassing and permanently storing details from their DNA.”
Steffey explained the law puts physicians in the awkward situation of acting as law enforcement officers. The condition healthcare association effectively pushed for a penalty exemption for physicians who do not comply in great religion.
“Doctors would fairly the Board of Medical Licensure supervise and control the exercise of medicine as an alternative of having authorities intrusion between medical professionals and individuals,” mentioned Thomas E. Joiner, instant past president of the Mississippi Condition Health-related Affiliation.
Penick said the point out would be far better off pursuing confirmed teenager pregnancy avoidance methods, this sort of as complete sexual intercourse training and obtain to confidential overall health companies.
Mississippi requires community schools to instruct sexual intercourse schooling, but the instruction is restricted to either an abstinence-only or abstinence-furthermore curriculum, which critics say is not comprehensive enough.
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Steve Orlofsky)