Senate File 88 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to the presence of an illegal drug in a
2newborn’s body, and providing penalties.
3BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  NEW SECTION.  135.131A  Newborn umbilical cord
2drug testing.
   31.  For the purposes of this section, unless the context
4otherwise requires:
   5a.  “Birth center” means birth center as defined in section
6135.61.
   7b.  “Birthing hospital” means a private or public hospital
8licensed pursuant to chapter 135B that has a licensed obstetric
9unit or is licensed to provide obstetric services.
   102.  All newborns born in a birth center or birthing hospital
11in this state shall be tested for the presence of an illegal
12drug in the newborn’s body. The test shall be conducted
13utilizing blood from the newborn’s umbilical cord pursuant to
14rules of the department.
   153.  The department shall adopt rules as necessary for the
16administration of this section pursuant to chapter 17A.
17   Sec. 2.  Section 232.96A, Code 2023, is amended by adding the
18following new subsection:
19   NEW SUBSECTION.  18.  The child is a newborn infant in whose
20body there is an illegal drug present at the time of birth. The
21presence of the illegal drug shall be determined in accordance
22with section 135.131A.
23   Sec. 3.  Section 726.6, subsection 1, Code 2023, is amended
24by adding the following new paragraph:
25   NEW PARAGRAPH.  j.  By act or omission, an illegal drug
26is found to be present in the newborn’s body and the drug’s
27presence is a direct and foreseeable consequence of the act or
28omission. Unless the presence of the illegal drug caused death
29or serious injury to the newborn, the drug’s presence shall be
30considered to have caused bodily injury to the newborn. For
31purposes of this paragraph, “newborn” means an infant who is
32three days of age or younger.
33   Sec. 4.  Section 726.6, subsection 7, Code 2023, is amended
34to read as follows:
   357.  A person who commits child endangerment resulting in
-1-1bodily injury to a child or minor or child endangerment in
2violation of subsection 1, paragraph “g” or “j”, that does
3not result in a serious injury, or a person who commits child
4endangerment in violation of subsection 2, is guilty of a class
5“D” felony.
6EXPLANATION
7The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
8the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   9This bill relates to the presence of an illegal drug in a
10newborn’s body.
   11The bill provides that each newborn born in a birth center
12or birthing hospital is required to be tested for the presence
13of an illegal drug in the newborn’s body. The test shall
14be conducted utilizing umbilical cord testing pursuant to
15administrative rules. Positive tests shall be reported to the
16department of health and human services. The bill directs
17the department to adopt rules as necessary to administer the
18provisions of the bill pursuant to Code chapter 17A.
   19The bill provides that a newborn with an illegal drug present
20in the newborn’s body at the time of birth provides grounds for
21a court to adjudicate that the newborn is a child in need of
22assistance pursuant to Code section 232.96A.
   23The bill establishes a child endangerment offense for an act
24or omission which causes an illegal drug to be present in the
25body of the newborn if the presence of the illegal drug in the
26body of the newborn is a direct and foreseeable consequence of
27the act or omission. The term “newborn” means an infant who
28is three days of age or younger. Unless the presence of the
29illegal drug caused death or serious injury to the newborn, the
30drug’s presence is considered to have caused bodily injury to
31the newborn.
   32A child endangerment offense that causes bodily injury to a
33child is a class “D” felony. A class “D” felony is punishable
34by confinement for no more than five years and a fine of at
35least $1,025 but not more than $10,245.
-2-
as/rh