A Montana mother is facing a felony charge after delivering a full-term baby on a toilet and then testing positive — both she and her baby — for meth. KXLF reports that Nicole Clare Henderson went to Benefis Health System on the morning of December 6, 2019, suffering from cramps. After arriving, Henderson went to the bathroom, and, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by news outlets, “gave birth to a term child in the toilet.”
Upon arrival at Benefis Health System, Henderson admitted to using meth earlier that morning, and after birth both Henderson and her baby tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine. According to the affidavit, this is Henderson’s third child, and the other two have already been removed from her care due to her illicit drug use.
Following the birth and drug testing, Henderson has been charged with a felony, endangering the welfare of a child. In Montana, this charge can result in up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Henderson’s is one of several recent cases in which mothers have been charged following drug use during pregnancy or taking action that results in a child’s death shortly after birth. One California mother, Chelsea Cheyenne Becker, was charged with murder after her stillborn baby tested positive for meth. As in Henderson’s case, Becker had multiple older children who had been removed from her care following repeated drug use.
These stories and the harsh charges the mothers face show that our society recognizes the need to protect preborn children who are powerless to protect themselves from the consequences of their mothers’ actions. However, at the same time, abortion remains legal, in several states up to birth. We cannot say both that preborn babies have a right to protection and life in the womb and that it is a mother’s “right” to intentionally end a child’s life through abortion.
While the news story made much of the fact that Henderson’s child was born on the toilet, there is evidence in the abortion industry that living babies, some of them viable, are being born in the toilet and left to die. The selective outrage over endangering preborn and newborn babies must expand to include victims of abortion who can legally be starved, dismembered, and violently killed. The focus on criminalizing mothers who need help is not a solution to the disregard for human life in our culture.
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