The Trump administration will review policies requiring pregnant women to get drug testing and treatment before they can discharge from a hospital, a senior White House official said Monday.
The move comes amid rising concerns that opioids and other drugs are fueling the opioid epidemic.
The policy would be the first time in more than two decades that the federal government has formally acknowledged that pregnant women can use opioids and potentially pose a risk to their newborns, the official said.
As president, Trump has called for the reopening of the federal drug-treatment programs that are at the center of the opioid crisis.
Since taking office in January, the Trump administration has approved more than $2.5 billion for opioid-related programs, but many have been slow to implement the rules and have not done so in a timely fashion, the White House said in a statement.
President Trump signs an executive order in the Oval Office on January 22, 2021.
Trump has proposed a new approach to dealing with opioid addiction and addiction-related deaths, proposing that the government reexamine policies that require women to be tested for opioids before they are discharged from hospitals.
During a recent press conference, Trump said his administration was “going to be looking at a lot of different things,” including reopening drug-dealing programs that were closed for several years, but he did not say whether he planned to make a similar proposal for pregnant women.
He also has said he was open to allowing states to decide when a pregnant woman can receive medical marijuana and other forms of relief.
But he did make clear during the press conference that he is not ready to consider allowing pregnant women and their babies to receive medical cannabis.
Pregnancy testing has long been a contentious issue in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others calling for stricter measures to protect women.