Addict Jailed to Protect Unborn Baby Gives Birth
Alabama woman admitted she used heroin daily, police say
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2017 6:24 PM CST
Alexandra Nicole Laird   (Jefferson County Jail)

(Newser) – A pregnant drug addict who made headlines last year when a judge sent her to jail to protect her fetus has given birth, AL.com reports. Lawyers for Alexandra Nicole Laird, 21, moved to have the new mom released on bond to a detox program following Tuesday's birth. Laird was arrested after giving birth to a daughter in March 2016 who was found to be addicted to opiates. The newborn spent a month in the ICU for withdrawal, and Laird allegedly admitted to using heroin throughout that pregnancy. She was free on bond in that case when she was arrested for failure to appear in court in August; in September, she told authorities she was pregnant again. When she admitted she had been using heroin daily, authorities moved to lock her up until she delivered. The move touched off a debate over the treatment of pregnant addicts.

"I'm doing my damndest to try to prevent any further damage to this child, since it's obvious the mother doesn't seem to care,'' Pleasant Grove Police Lt. Danny Reid told a judge at the time. Reactions are still strong, according to comments posted on AL.com, with one reader calling the case "unbelievably sad." A drug-addicted baby is born in the US every 19 minutes, per Reuters. Laird spent the duration of her pregnancy at UAB Hospital. After she gave birth on Tuesday, her lawyer filed a papers seeking her release on bond but indicating she would remain in the hospital's detox program. Police did not oppose Laird's release since she has given birth, but the judge has not yet ruled on the motion. Authorities did not release information on the baby, citing privacy laws. Laird, who does not have custody of her first child, still faces child endangerment charges. (A mom's viral photo shows the harsh reality of heroin.)

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