Protect unborn children of drug-addicted women
I felt the need to respond after reading Sunday’s News story about the young lady, eight months pregnant and addicted to heroin, released from jail, only to disappear back to her world of addiction. I found Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek’s comments a bit cavalier to the unborn child’s rights. This DA “doesn’t see the need for a new policy on how to handle such cases,” placing the onus of recovery on the user.
Heroin addiction alters brain chemistry so the user is no longer able to make logical and emotionally rational decisions for herself, let alone for the unborn child she is carrying. Going to rehab for an unborn child isn’t on an addict’s radar. The only focus is to chase that high.
Having said that, society’s moral obligation is to be the voice of that unborn child, giving him every opportunity to come into this world free of the suffering and intolerable pain of his mother’s addiction. The mother didn’t allow her fetus any choice, but we can. We must!
We do that not by keeping pregnant addicts in jail, but by placing them in a court-ordered facility that will treat both the mother and the unborn child. When that child is born, he will suffer from horrendous physical withdrawal, craving the drug his irresponsible mother “fed” her baby the entire time she was pregnant. Seeing babies born to addicts is heart-wrenching.
Wojtaszek and the judge in this case were put in office to protect society, which this unborn child will come into, providing that the mother doesn’t die first. Being sympathetic isn’t enough. Be the hero! Work to enact protections for the unborn addicted baby.
If the unborn were able to speak, they would no doubt demand protection. Knowing that, we must be their voice. The legal system needs to create a new law that protects the unborn children of addicted mothers. That should be a no-brainer.
Deborah L. Chambers