Paying For Birth Control
A mother is in jail tonight with a bond set at $100,000 in connection with the death of if her infant daughter who was found Thursday in a washing machine.
Court records show the day 10-da-old Maggie May died her mother, 26-year-old Lyndsey Fiddler tested positive for meth, anti-anxiety drugs and opiates.
FOX23’s Abbie Alford talked with an organization that helps keep drug addicted mothers from having kids.
Project Prevention a non-profit organization who pays women to get sterilized or use a birth control.
It’s an organization founded by a mother who has adopted eight children from drug addicted mothers. These are children who now have a chance. Maggie May in Bartlesville did not have a chance.
When Maggie’s mother was pregnant close friends tell FOX23 News she was high on drugs.
“She admitted to doing stuff while she was pregnant, drugs, so I know that took a toll on the baby,” says a close friend of Maggie who did not want to disclose her name.
Bartlesville Police found Fiddler had been using meth and opiates the day Maggie was found dead in a washing machine.
Her aunt who found the baby believed it was an accident.
"She was putting laundry in the basket and she had Maggie in her arms and I think somehow or another she ended up in the washer," says Rhonda Coshatt.
Had Fiddler only learned about Project Prevention, a North Carolina group that helps keep drug and alcohol addicted mothers and fathers from having children Maggie may still be alive.
"This is legal child abuse and these kids are born with the cards stacked against them and it's not okay,” says Barbara Harris.
In a Skype interview Harris says her group pays $300 to moms and dads who agree to sterilization procedures or who promise to use birth control consistently.
"Yes, it's a bribe call it whatever you want it takes money to get their attention but if it keeps them focused long enough to follow through and do a responsible thing they are glad that they did," says Harris.
She has been criticized for her work.
"'Well you know that they are going to use that money for drugs' but that's their choice, the babies don't have a choice," says Harris. "They are going to do drugs with or without our 300 dollars."
Harris also adopted eight children born from mothers who used drugs.
"My children didn't have a choice to be born sober or not," says Harris.
Harris says many women use abortions as birth control.
“The woman who come through our program before giving birth with us 4,721 abortions," says Harris.
She says one woman already had 15 abortions before she got help and many already have multiple children.
Women who work with Harris’ agency must prove they’re addicts and see a doctor to receive the $300.
If the mother relapses the money is still available to receive birth control.
To learn more call (888) 30-CRACK
Fiddler has been officially charged with Child Neglect which carries up to a 10-year-prison sentence. The Washington County District Attorney says additional charges could be filed. Fiddler is scheduled to be in court on Friday.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Resources has a month to respond to FOX23 News’ request for Fiddler’s DHS history.
Project Prevention was founded in 1998/ Harris says she has worked to pass legislation nationwide that would make it illegal for women to give birth to children while addicted to drugs.
November 8th, 2010