Meth Baby, Deserves Hope, Compassion

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Nothing has changed. The moral of the story remains the same.

In fact, it has been magnified by the facts that Payson's "miracle" Christmas baby was born with methamphetamines in her system because her mother had used the drug while pregnant.

On the front page of our Dec. 25 issue, we ran the story of an unmarried 20-year-old woman who gave birth in a friend's house, with help from the friend. The baby, we reported, was fine which is what we were told by the mother; the hospital does not release such information.

A few days later, an irate reader stormed the Roundup's offices. He was filled with rage because the woman was "immoral" for having a child out of wedlock and the Roundup was "immoral" for putting her story on its cover. This man was not being judgmental, he vowed. He was simply outraged by all this rampant "immorality."

In a "My View" column about that encounter, a New Year's resolution was suggested for us all: to recognize that anger, hatred and judgment never solved anything, and to instead direct tolerance, love and compassion toward those we have deemed unworthy of our approval.

Yes, it is a tragedy that this young mother risked the life and health of her baby by using drugs during her pregnancy. She herself acknowledges that. But the baby has been released from the hospital and, according to her grandmother, has escaped the many dangers, including death, which victimize most "meth babies." So she remains a miracle child.

Yes, both mother and baby still face an uphill struggle. Drug problems, alas, very rarely just disappear. But it would be a real shame if a single Rim country soul reacted to the news of their problems with judgments instead of love, caring and hope.

If anyone deserves those gifts of the human heart, it is a young, troubled mother and her innocent "miracle" baby.

Michael Burkett, reporter

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