Criminalizing Motherhood

Criminalizing Motherhood

By Joseph Neufeld, San Rafael, California


This article by Joseph Neufeld was previously published in

Media Reports

Coastal Post Online in October 2000



At the recent criminal sentencing of Carol Mardeusz over the charges of
attempted child abduction of her daughter Haleigh, Marin Deputy District
Attorney Kelly J. Vieira asked for Carol's immediate imprisonment. Vieira
expressed concern over a booklet of missing children she receives every
other month. Most of these children were abducted by the non-custodial
parent. Vieira feared that if Carol were not immediately imprisoned,
Haleigh would soon wind up in this booklet.

The Bay Area has already experienced several child abductions within the
past few months. There is a campaign to recall a handful of Marin County
Superior Court Judges along with the District Attorney. Also, a death
threat was issued against a judge. All these incidents revolve around
family law cases involving child custody. We must begin to ask ourselves,
"What is going on?"

One of my favorite books is The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
In Chapter 10, the Little Prince encounters a king who had no tolerance for
disobedience to his orders. The trick to having his orders obeyed, the king
explained, is by making his orders reasonable. "If I ordered a general to
fly from one flower to another like a butterfly, or to write a tragic
drama, or to change himself into a sea bird, and if the general did not
carry out the order that he had received, which one of us would be in the
wrong?" the king demanded. "The general, or myself?"

I ask a similar question. If a court orders a mother to cease contact with
her child, and the mother does not obey, which one would be in the wrong?
The mother, or the court?

In the midst of Carol Mardeusz's criminal trial, the recall campaign, the
death threats, the child "abductions," and other assorted assailments, the
Marin County Superior Court Judges and the District Attorney's office can't
quite seem to understand why these women can't obey a simple court order to
stay away from their child.

In a very old case, the courts of Virginia expressed that "[a]ll acts of
the legislature apparently contrary to natural rights and justice are, in
our law and must be in the nature of things, considered as void." (Robin v.
Hardaway (Virginia 1772) 1 Jefferson 109.) A friend of mine put it another
way: "What do you think would happen if you try to take a cub away from its
mother?" Humans are no different. A higher law dictates a mother's actions
when the health, safety and well-being of her child is as stake. The three
branches of government, however, are interfering with the forces of nature.
And they are feeling the sting. Their experiments with social engineering
are failing.

We can pack the jails with mothers, but Carol and these other women will do
and continue to do everything in their power to get their children back.
That's what mother's do. If our legislature and courts and child protective
agencies really want to override the laws of nature, there is one thing,
and only one thing, that I know of which will separate a mother from her
child. Let's stop criminalizing mothers for being mothers.
Destruction of the natural family
The State replacing parents
Destroying the family: Swedish style
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