Teen Mothers' Cord Blood Collected under New Miss. Law

Teen Mothers' Cord Blood Collected under New Miss. Law

Starting July 1st, Mississippi doctors will be required to collect umbilical cord blood from babies born to mothers who are 16 and younger.
DESOTO COUNTY, MS (localmemphis.com) - It's the first law of its kind for Mississippi, which leads the nation in teen pregnancy. According to the latest numbers, 55 out of 1,000 babies are born to young women between the ages of 15 and 19.

Starting July 1st, Mississippi doctors will be required to collect umbilical cord blood from babies born to mothers who are 16 and younger.

The idea is that saving the blood will help identify sexual predators, but will saving umbilical cord blood really reduce teen pregnancy?

"I don't think that they should do that. In fact even with these teen pregnancies I'm not for it," said Mississippi resident Henry Kemp.

"What would we do with the umbilical cord anyways? Throw it out, and if it could be used as a means of finding out paternity and stuff like that I think any means, as long as you're not hurting the baby or taking away mother's rights, I think that it would be fine," said Mary DeVries.

The blood from the umbilical cord will be stored at the state medical examiner's office for testing in the event that police believe the girl was the victim of statutory rape. Governor Phil Bryant, who championed the law, has said that it is a new way to prevent older men from having sex with younger girls.

"I've honestly never thought about that. That's pretty interesting. I can't even believe that's an issue. I didn't think you could anything with it," said Ian Vinson.

"I don't think that is very feasible. I really don't. I really wouldn't care for doctors to do that," said Carrie Bradley.

The state will pay for collecting and testing of cord blood from all mothers 16 and younger. Mississippi teens do not have an option to opt out of the testing.

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