Reforms

House introduces bill to protect babies of mothers using opioids

Lisa Collinsworth holds her infant son at Lily's Place, a treatment center for opioid-dependent newborns in West Virginia. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

The U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill on Wednesday designed to protect babies of mothers who used opioids such as heroin during their pregnancy. The bipartisan legislation would force federal and state governments to more closely monitor the health and safety of drug-dependent babies, by requiring them to report the number of these newborns, as well as the number for whom safe care plans were instituted.

The bill is in part a response to a Reuters investigation which revealed, among other things, that 110 American babies who had been exposed to opioids during their mother’s pregnancy had later died at home. “This legislation puts families at the center of care and ensures that babies and mothers affected by substance use disorders get the help they need,” Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, who sponsored the bill, said in a statement.

Read the full story at Newsweek.

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