BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — A woman who police say had been drinking heavily before she gave birth was charged with child neglect after the baby was born intoxicated and diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Melissa Irene Tanner, 37, had a blood alcohol content of 0.29 percent when she gave birth June 30, and her daughter's was 0.21 percent, according to an affidavit by police. The legal limit for drivers in Oklahoma is 0.08 percent.
Hospital staff had to use an oxygen bag to help the baby start breathing and gave her medication to counteract any narcotics, according to the affidavit.
Tanner allegedly told police she and another person had consumed a case of beer and that she regularly drank during her pregnancy.
She was jailed on $30,000 bail. At a court appearance this week, Tanner was advised of her rights and ordered to return to court Aug. 5. She has not yet filed an application for an attorney or entered a plea, the court clerk's office said.
Sheriff's investigator James Wynn said the baby has fetal alcohol syndrome (search). The baby was placed in a foster home with a caretaker experienced in dealing with addicted infants.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (search) lists the syndrome as the leading preventable cause of mental retardation and physical deformity. The severity of her disability won't be known until she is older.
Ok, all I can say is, Praise God that the child is at least alive and that her mother is being held accountable. Sadly, you hear of "mothers" doing things like this all the time. Beautiful, innocent children are born addicted to crack, heroin, and a vastness of other drugs and sadly it seems you never hear of these women being proscituted. If you're smoking & drinking and are pregnant, you're abusing an infant that can't do anything to protect itself.
And I feel like if a child dies as a result of a woman's irrisponsibility I feel they should be hauled into court & charged with murder. I can't imagen, especially in today's society, any woman being unaware of what she does to her body when she ingages in these activities. And I cannot fathom how women that knowingly do these things while they are pregnant and aren't charged with neglect or anything. Stories like this encourage me because at least something is being done for the child, and yet I am broken hearted. A poor child is going through withdrawl right now soley because it's mother cared more about having fun than doing her job and caring for her.
Innocent children around the world are suffering the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome, and sadly may never fully recover from the idiocy of these so called mothers. It is not uncommon for children born with this syndrome to suffer from mental retardation, learning disablities, hyperactivity, and abnormal social issues. I cannot understand why women, who God has blessed with a wonderful and vitally important role as mothers, would choose to "live it up" and "just have a good time." Are their own selfish desires more important than the life God is knitting together in their wombs?
"These children don’t spend their childhood in sandboxes and attending story times at the library. They end up on an endless course of therapies and treatment to try and deal with the multitudinous developmental problems their mothers caused. Yes, a mother that does this to her child deserves arrest and prosecution for child abuse of the first order." (Slice of Laodicea)
Sadly, today there seems to be more concern for finding our "purpose in life," and realizing our deepest dreams and desires, and embracing our destiny than there is for the life of our children. We go from self help group to self help group looking for a deeper relationship with Christ. Yet, we never stop to really dig into His word. And there lies the problem; without a knowledge of the Word we cannot come to realize the importance of our children, nor can we come to understand that Christ calls us to bear our cross and follow Him (Luke 14:27). We are to lay down our desires (Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23) and die in flesh & be crucified (Galatians 2:20, Galatians 5:24, Matthew 10:38-39) so that we can be truely alive in Him and His righteousness (Romans 8:4).