During today’s voting session, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 325, legislation targeted at encouraging expectant mothers who are addicted to heroin and opiates to seek medical help.

HB 325, or “Maiden’s Law,” requires certain healthcare professionals to encourage pregnant women to seek drug treatment while providing limited protection from civil or criminal liability to those professionals.

Following passage of the bill, Rep. Doug Green (R-Mt. Orab), who cosponsored the legislation, released the following statement:

“The impetus for this bill is ultimately to keep mother and child together and to strengthen the family unit through hope against despair. In doing this, we move toward a system of encouragement by shining light into areas of this state where it has been dark for too long. By encouraging addiction treatment we heal a mother, we heal a family, we help restore communities, we save government money. By keeping families together we strengthen family units, we create conditions for better achievement in school, we keep our economy moving forward. It is my hope that more expectant mothers come forward and seek help.”

In addition, it establishes that a children’s services agency cannot file a complaint or remove a child simply because the newborn’s mother used a controlled substance while pregnant, so long as the mother:

1. Enrolls in a drug treatment program prior to entering her 21st week of pregnancy
2. Successfully completes, or is in the process of completing, a program and is in compliance with the program’s terms and conditions as determined by the treatment provider
3. Maintains her regularly scheduled appointments and prenatal care recommended by her healthcare provider for the remaining duration of her pregnancy

House Bill 325 now awaits Senate consideration.


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