Some might say “Ah, but we must err on the side of caution to protect the children.” That’s how the presumption of innocence erodes away. Today it’s a mom in Pennsylvania being unfairly accused and extrajudicially punished. Some day it could be you.
New Castle, PENN. (WABC) — This is a story that will likely outrage many moms. Liz Mort gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, but the next day, police and child protective services in Pennsylvania came to her home and took the infant from her – all because of a bagel.
Liz Mort says she never saw it coming.
“I was shocked. I was at a loss for words. I just started crying,” she said.
Child protective services in Pennsylvania were at her doorstep, taking her 1-day-old baby because they thought Liz was abusing drugs.
“Someone was saying that ‘Oh, we’re CYS and we found something in your system,’ and at that time I never even heard of it before. It means that we have to take custody of your child,” Mort said.
Jameson Hospital in New Castle, Pennsylvania, tests mothers of newborns for drugs. State law allows it, but what the hospital did not consider more closely was poppy seeds.
“Opium comes from the poppy plant. Ingesting poppy seeds can cause levels of morphine and codeine in a person’s urine,” Dr. Neil Capretto explained.
On the day Liz gave birth, she says she ate an Everything bagel from Dunkin’ Donuts – a bagel with lots of poppy seeds. Now, the local ACLU is taking on the case.
Read more at WABC-TV.