New Jersey approves mandatory HIV tests for babies
Acting Governor Richard Codey signed a law that will require babies of mothers with HIV and those of unknown status to be tested. It also makes HIV testing part of routine prenatal care for all pregnant women instead of doctors just offering to perform the test.
The law, which goes into effect in six months, does allow the mommy-to-be to refuse testing. The goal is to decrease the number of infected newborns; however, some argue that women?s rights to make their own medical decisions is at risk.
In 2006, there were four states that required providers to test for HIV, unless the mother refused. They included Arkansas, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas. Connecticut, Illinois and New York are states that mandated testing for newborns.