Woman Gives Birth Drunk, Promptly Arrested

July 15th, 2005 // 3 Comments

ordinarypeopleSay hello to the mother of the year.

A woman has been arrested on child neglect charges after giving birth while drunk, police said. Melissa Irene Tanner, 37, is accused of having a blood alcohol content close to three times the legal limit when she gave birth to a baby girl on June 30.

She is being held in jail with bail set at $30,000 and the baby has been placed in foster care.

The baby was not breathing upon birth and had to be administered a medication to counteract any narcotics that may have been present in the child’s system. After an emergency procedure by hospital staff, the child started breathing.
Tanner reportedly has six other children. According to a July 11 probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Tanner told police she and another person had consumed a case of beer.

Woman Arrested After Giving Birth Drunk [AP]

By Miu von Furstenberg

  1. casiobeat

    Really sad – I wonder if she is an alcoholic. The FAS issue is a very touchy one with me. While this is certainly tragic (and hopefully that baby is okay) – a slippery slope is being created when pregnant mothers are being criminally penalized. (I realize this is distinct in the fact that the baby was born while she was drunk – however, this leads to much larger and compllicated picture.).

    What if she was an alcoholic? Was she afraid to go for help in fear of being arrested when pregnant? Are there resources available?

    While an arrest is understandable in this case, given that that there was intoxication during BIRTH, I think it’s important to point a serious sidenote. There is a rise in pregnant women being arrested while drinking. The anti-choice agenda is basically co-opting the FAS issue in the name of “fetal rights.” Women are being arrested for endangering their “fetuses” when caught having a drink in public, and in one case – in their own home. The slippery slope into “fetal rights” is all to obvious – instead of criminalizing pregnant women, we need to create awareness and resources for help, and in addition, not let the anti-choice movement take advantage of this issue for their own agenda. (That is, if you believe in a women’s right to choose).

    So I just urge those who read this terrible story to take note of the other issues that revolve around this sad case.

  2. crystal

    It is an interesting topic to read up on, I read “Crack in America” a few months ago for school, and a lot of those issues are addressed in there, especially pertaining to minorities.

    But I know if I ever give birth, being drunk at the time will def. seem like a good option.

  3. oliverstwist

    not a crack baby but a budwiser baby.

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