Rep. Bubba "Coat Hanger" Carpenter (R - Burnsville) is all interested in lady parts again this year. Last year Carpenter became nationally known for his comments evincing his disregard for Mississippi women forced to choose coat hanger abortions over the safe and legal kind. His comments were initially posted proudly by the Alcorn County Republican Party, but since have been taken down.
Well, he's back.
Now Rep. Carpenter has offered HB 202, which would sentence a pregnant woman who tests positive for any controlled substance to 10 years to life in the state penitentiary. Even if there is no harm to the fetus.
So how would violators of this law be caught? Well, by mandatory drug screening if arrested for a violation of Mississippi's Uniform Controlled Substances law, that's how. The bill is silent as to how the arresting officer would determine whether or not the woman is pregnant, which leaves that part wide open to officer discretion.
Carpenter's law, if passed, would lead to the following scenario: Woman of child bearing age is arrested for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana somewhere in Mississippi. Arresting officer asks if she's with child. She says no, not knowing that she is, in fact, pregnant. Officer then forces her to submit to a pregnancy test in accordance with Carpenter's law. The pregnancy test is positive, which leads to a drug test. She tests positive for marijuana, and is then indicted and convicted under Carpenter's law, and is sentenced to life in prison.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Mississippi Legislature is evincing at least some comprehension that drug addiction is a disease and not a moral failing, as drug courts were recently declared mandatory in every jurisdiction in the state.