COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) - State legislators and Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones are calling for enhanced legislation that would protect the lives of unborn children who are victimized by heroin.
Jones has joined state Reps. Margaret Conditt, R-Liberty Twp., and Wes Retherford, R-Hamilton, in pushing to strengthen criminal penalties to those who deal illegal narcotics to pregnant women.
"The number of babies born addicted to heroin and other illegal drugs has reached epidemic proportions," said Sheriff Jones. "We need to make sure that dealers know they will do hard time, while leaving the door open for pregnant women to get help before it's too late."
The current law provides mandatory imprisonment for those who deal illegal narcotics to minors. In order to extend the protection of that law to unborn children, Jones has proposed an expansion to the statute.
It would provide mandatory prison time to those who "furnish or administer a controlled substance to a pregnant person, when the offender knows the person to be pregnant."
Conditt and Retherford are sponsoring the legislation which is currently being drafted. Jones said he believes the legislation is the first in the nation to target drug dealers who victimize unborn children.