Due process is something that is protected under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, but since the Trump administration has been pushing red flag laws and continuing in the Obama administration’s footsteps with asset forfeiture, it’s as though due process is a thing of the past… even though it isn’t. The latest evidence of the state and its agents violating due process, as well as the rights protected in the Fourth Amendment and engaging in kidnapping comes from the state of Alabama, where a young mother was issued a drug test without her consent that resulted in a false positive, for which the state ripped her newborn baby from her arms.
While Crestwood Medical Center declined to comment on why they drug tested the mother, Rebecca Hernandez, without her consent, they issued a statement claiming, “Crestwood Medical Center is committed to following the law and regulatory requirements as well as ensuring the health and safety of our patients. Our hospital also incorporates patient care practices that are established by credentialed members of our medical staff so as to further ensure safe and quality care for all of our patients.”
This is known as “Cover your butt.”
It looks like both her doctor and the hospital are trying to justify their actions due to the fact that the young mother ate poppy seed bread.
If you were watching @waff48 at 10 last night, you know the story of Rebecca — Huntsville mom who failed a drug test because of POPPY SEED BREAD and had her newborn taken from her.
Tonight, mom and baby are BACK together. Her LAB TEST results were negative 🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/aqUpo9VOpV
— McKinley Strother (@mckinleystv) January 31, 2020
“Screening tests can have what we call false-positive results where other things can interfere,” said Dr. Yashica Robinson, Hernandez’s doctor. “You can have a substance that a patient eats. Like in this case, poppy seeds can make them test positive for opioids.”
Well, if you know that, Doc, why didn’t you give it time and retest, or better yet, let her know you were performing such a test instead of reacting so irrationally?
Robinson said same-day drug screenings are a problem, and hospitals should rely on laboratory confirmed tests, the type that showed a negative result for Hernandez, before taking away children. The baby also tested negative for opiates.
Robinson said erroneous results can harm patients.
“I understand everything is a process. I understand you have to follow rules,” Hernandez said. “They should’ve done some more research before they decided to call DHR.”
“A newborn baby has to be close to mom,” Hernandez said. “They have to be with the mom. That’s the most important time in their life to be close to the mom when they’re just born.”
In 2015, Alabama was found to have some of the toughest drug laws that target drug use during pregnancy.
ProPublica reported at that time:
According to a review of hundreds of court records, drug testing is ubiquitous in some Alabama counties — sometimes of mothers, sometimes of infants, sometimes both. In some parts of the state, hospitals test on a case-by-case basis, employing criteria that virtually ensure greater scrutiny for poor women.
ProPublica and AL.com began examining hospital drug-testing policies as part of an investigation into Alabama’s chemical endangerment law, the country’s toughest law targeting drug use in pregnancy. Since 2006, the law has been used to charge nearly 500 women with endangering their unborn children. In many cases, law enforcement officials cited hospital-administered drug tests as probable cause for arrest.
Forty-two of the 49 hospitals that deliver babies in Alabama declined to answer an AL.com/ProPublica questionnaire about testing policies, despite repeated requests over several months. Of the seven that did respond, three provided only partial information. Officials at several hospitals declined interview requests to explain why they didn’t want to answer the questionnaires.
In six consent forms obtained from patients and a handful of hospitals — paperwork that patients sign when they check in to deliver their babies — drug testing is specifically mentioned in only two. None indicate that positive results can trigger arrest and prosecution under the Alabama chemical endangerment statute.
“If hospitals are not informing their patients about what their drug-testing policies are, particularly when those results are used to involve law enforcement in their patients’ lives, that is an unconstitutional act,” said Sara Ainsworth, director of legal advocacy for the New York–based National Advocates for Pregnant Women.
Under Alabama law, drug abuse in pregnancy is considered a form of child abuse, and medical providers are “mandatory reporters,” meaning they are required to report positive test results to child welfare authorities, who then must report them to law enforcement. At least 15 other states also treat prenatal drug use as child abuse, but only three — Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee — explicitly allow mothers to be criminally prosecuted.
So, what’s the penalty for such behavior in Alabama? One to 10 years in prison if a baby is exposed but suffers no ill effects; 10 to 20 years if a baby shows signs of exposure or harm; and 10 to 99 years if a baby dies.
But don’t worry about the violations of your rights in Alabama and being said to abuse your child via eating poppy seed bread, you can go murder your child and be fully protected in Alabama at several clinics in the state.
Despite Alabama being exposed in the 2015 ProPublica report, apparently, they are still engaging in the same lawless and unconstitutional behavior.
My recommendation is for Ms. Hernandez to target everyone involved and not take a simple settlement, but bring these people to their knees so that others might fear doing the same thing to someone else in the future.
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