This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 20, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight, 23-year-old Lashaun Harris (search) has apparently murdered her three babies by throwing them into San Francisco Bay (search) last night. The three boys are 6, 2 and 1.
Authorities say Ms. Harris said she was hearing voices. The woman is obviously disturbed. That's the body of the 2-year-old. The other two babies are still missing. They have not found them in the bay.
Now the question is, what do we do when we know a parent's abusing his or her child, when we know a parent is mentally ill? Do we intrude?
With us now is Dr. Robi Ludwig, a psychotherapist. This is the same old story here with Lashaun Harris. Has the first baby at 17, knocks out two of the babies. Then she's 23 with three children, living in a shelter apparently on medication. Shelter manager says talked to her the day before she threw the babies in the bay. She was fine, everything was fine. And bang, she snaps.
So poverty, mental illness, all of that plays into it.
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: That's right.
O'REILLY: Obviously an extreme case. You don't see these major psy cases too often. But what we do see, and what you see all the time are abusive parents.
LUDWIG: That's right.
O'REILLY: In public.
O'REILLY: So what is our obligation as decent people when we confront that situation?
LUDWIG: I think it's really important that we make the intervention, because you never know if your intervention is going to be the one that actually changes the course of a person's life. We're really more connected to one another than disconnected. And we all pay a price when someone's allowed to grow up in a violent situation. These are the criminals that end up harming us later.
O'REILLY: All right, let's get specific.
O'REILLY: You're in the grocery store. And this — it's happened to me, I'm sure it's happened to most of our viewers. You're in a grocery store, OK? You got a little kid, and bang. OK? Hits the kid because the kid's doing something.
O'REILLY: And he gets whacked like this. Now what do you do?
LUDWIG: First of all, you have to assess your own level of safety. You don't want to go up to an abusive parent and get killed yourself.
LUDWIG: But if you've assess the situation, and you feel that you...
O'REILLY: But you see it, all right?
LUDWIG: Yes. It's absolutely our responsibility to intervene and to make sure that the child is safe. That's why we have these protective laws.
O'REILLY: All right, so what do you do? You're in a grocery store. You see the...
LUDWIG: You either go up to the individual and say, hey, this is not the way you want to be handling the situation. You need a time out.
O'REILLY: And that individual might whack you in the head.
LUDWIG: Right. So you want to assess that. Or you can go to a manager and say this person is abusing a child. Call the police.
O'REILLY: How about calling the cops? Everybody's got a cell phone.
LUDWIG: That's right. Call the police.
LUDWIG: Let the police — 911. Let them make an assessment. Or you can call child protective services if you have more information.
O'REILLY: Right. I had to deal with this one time. This is what I did. It was a guy and a little kid. And the kid was in the way of the guy. And the guy — fists.
O'REILLY: You know, if it's a little whack on the behind, I'm not going to intrude. I don't think that's child abuse. But taking your fist...
O'REILLY: ...blasting the kid, and the kid is, you know.
So I got — immediately, I got some witnesses, some people who were in the aisle. I said, look, I'm going to stop this and you got to watch this. So I had people right there. So it wasn't he said, she said. OK?
And then I went over. I'm bigger than the guy. And said you hit the guy again, I'm going to do it to you. All right? I was very confrontational. Startled him. He stopped. And then I basically went to the store manager. I should have gone to the cops, but I didn't. And it was my — I should have called the police.
LUDWIG: But you would now.
O'REILLY: I would now.
LUDWIG: Because of education and awareness. And sometimes that's all it takes is letting society, you know, listen. An individual has the power to make a difference. It's our responsibility.
O'REILLY: But it is vital that you get other people to see what's happened.
LUDWIG: I think that's a brilliant idea.
O'REILLY: You have to.
LUDWIG: That's brilliant.
O'REILLY: You have to anywhere, because it can't be just you and him.
O'REILLY: You can get in trouble.
Now you live in a neighborhood, a suburban neighborhood. Lashaun Harris is living three doors down from you. You know she's a nut, OK? You know she's unstable.
O'REILLY: You know she's got three kids. And you know it's chaos. You know something could happen. What do you do?
LUDWIG: If there's imminent danger, if you really feel this person is in danger of harming a child right now, then you call the police and you say this person...
O'REILLY: But there's no crime.
LUDWIG: No. This person is in danger of harming themselves or others and needs to be hospitalized.
O'REILLY: The police aren't going to do that.
LUDWIG: Yes, they will.
O'REILLY: No, they won't.
LUDWIG: Yes, I mean...
O'REILLY: Not in my neighborhood they won't.
LUDWIG: Well, I've called the police and I've said...
O'REILLY: You've got to — they've got to see — the police have to see before they can take them into custody.
LUDWIG: Well, the other thing you can do is you can call a family member and say I'm very concerned about your family member.
O'REILLY: Lashaun Harris?
LUDWIG: Does this person have a medical doctor, a psychiatrist, a medical professional?
O'REILLY: I don't know. I don't know.
LUDWIG: You can call several people.
O'REILLY: This is the hard one. Number one, they live in the neighborhood so they can take reprisals on you. That's number one. OK?
O'REILLY: Number two, you know, because everybody knows crazy parents in the neighborhood to beat the living daylights out of their kids. Everybody knows that.
LUDWIG: You can call child protective services. It's their job to investigate.
O'REILLY: Oh, but that's chaos, you know?
LUDWIG: It is chaos. Maybe you can do several things all at once. You call a family member, you call people in the community, you call a doctor. You call the police. You do it on several fronts. I mean, that was one of the problems with Andrea Yates. Child protective services was called. They came in, and they didn't follow through.
LUDWIG: I wonder what would have happened...
O'REILLY: Happens all the time.
LUDWIG: ...if the doctor was called, the family member was called, the police are called.
LUDWIG: You call a lot of people.
O'REILLY: But bottom line on this is we all have a moral obligation if we see a wrongdoing.
LUDWIG: That's right.
O'REILLY: It's got to be a wrongdoing. It can't be a little swat on the behind to intervene.
LUDWIG: Right. And the individual has the power — absolutely.
O'REILLY: All right.
LUDWIG: Individual has the power to make the difference.
O'REILLY: Thank you, doctor.
LUDWIG: Thank you.
O'REILLY: We appreciate you coming in, as always.
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