Mother of three

Jaclyn Helsel, 20, was the mother of one child, when she found herself pregnant with a second. She gave birth to that child, then 7 months later, she gave birth at home to another baby, this one premature. That was last month.She did not attempt to get any medical care for him, and he died. She threw him out in the trash.

She has been charged with aggravated manslaughter for the death of the child, because she didn't attempt to get medical care for him. Originally, she was ordered held without bond. But Fri. a bond was issued in the amount of $35,000. There is an additional condition. She must be supervised any time she is associates with of a male over the age of 15 years. And she had to agree not to engage in sex.

The judge explained that it was a reasonable condition, because it would prevent another unwanted pregnancy. She said the mother is an experienced adult, who was already the mother of two, the youngest being only 7 months old, when the third child was born. The judge aknowleged that enforcing the order would be difficult, but that she thought that if Helsel broke the order, it would get back to her.

Her other two children are in the care of the State Dept. of Children and Families.

So at least during the period of the trial, she is ordered not to engage in sex or to associate with a male over the age of 15, without supervision. I hope they specified who was to do the supervision, as  I can think of a number of types of people who might not make optimal supervisiors. And I am not sure of why the cut off date of 15 either. Unless, maybe that is when the age of consent laws take affect.

Helsel's mother said in the article that she was not aware of her daughter's third pregnancy. So I imagine these charges came as quite a shock to her and her family. And certainly most mothers want to love and support their children, even as they take responsibility for their wrong doing. It can sometimes be a difficult job to love your child, and hate their decisions and actions. If only the daughter could have learned from her mother's example.

Two children, one only an infant in state care. I don't know the first child's age. At some point a decision will have to be made on who will be responsible for them. Whether it will be the mother, a relative, or remain in state care. Something tells me this one will get some careful consideration when the time comes. If they remain in the family, it is likely that at some point, years down the road, they will learn of the fact that once they had a little brother, and their mother watched him die without getting him any help. That will most likely be difficult for them to deal with.

And finally, the girl herself. She is 20 years old. Her friends are out partying, dating. She has two children to care for. Certainly, she wants to date, to have fun, maybe to meet "Mr. Right", and I am sure she has urges. But she forgot the cardinal rule. The children didn't ask to be born. Mother's and father's actions resulted in their birth, mother at least made the decision to keep them, and Children Come First! She is 20. She is facing trial. By now, all her friends, neighbors, and many potential boyfriends know what she did. And surely by now, she must realize the import of what she did. She could have called for assistance for the baby. If it was unwanted, she could have requested Safe Haven laws to apply and/or she could have given the child up for adoption. Perhaps the father or his family  may have wanted the child. She had options and choices other than the one she chose. No she didn't actively cause harm to the child. But she had had two children. She was familiar with the amount of testing, observation, and monitoring a term infant needed. Surely she was aware that a premature child would need even more.

Again, no mention of the father here. I wonder if he was aware of the pregnancy? If he would have stepped up for the child? If he is even aware of the birth and death of his child?

What a waste of potential. Young mother, young children, premature baby.

*And no, I am not going to debate the legality of the bail conditions. That is for the courts to chew on. This isn't a sentence, the condition will end after the trial, and certainly she wouldn't be furthering her case any if she would get pregnant prior to going to trial.

1 Comment

  1. Mike said,

    December 8, 2008 at 3:27 am

    Here is a link that will give you more info on this case.

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