11/12/2014 04:05 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Vegan Mom Sarah Markham Faces Criminal Charges Over Underweight Baby


A Florida woman who allegedly refused to take her underweight infant to a hospital faces criminal charges.

Sarah Markham was scheduled to go before a judge on Tuesday in an effort to regain custody of her child.

In June, doctors discovered that Markham's baby was dehydrated and had lost 10 percent of his body weight.

The mother was told to take the child to a hospital for treatment, but police say she opted not to do so. She was arrested, and CPS took her child away.

A doctor had previously prescribed baby formula to supplement Markham's breast milk, but she allegedly did not want to use the formula because of her vegan beliefs.

WKMG reported at the time:

Markham said she did not give the formula/medicine that the doctor provided because she did not agree with the ingredients, which she said came from animals, the police report stated.

Instead, investigators said she was using a soy formula she purchased at Whole Foods.

She now faces neglect charges and is currently only allowed to see the baby in supervised visits, WFTV reports. Her lawyer, George Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O'Mara, says the charges are outrageous and "not even close" to neglect.

“It's absurd. It's a mom trying to do the best she can, acting as a vegan which she has the entire right to do taking care of her child,” O’Mara told the station. "They've kept a child away from mom."

Studies have suggested that appropriately planned vegan diets can satisfy nutrient needs of infants.

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