It has not been established that the mothers abused their children; I have read no reports that any mother has been accused of abusing her children. The childrens' right to be with their mothers, protected under the free association amendment of the US Constitution, has been violated by the state of Texas. No one has demonstrated that returning the children to their mothers' custody would endanger the children.
Texas is leaping to conclusions that because the women and children lived in a polygamist society, they were in a state of abuse--the notion that polygamist marriage of-legal-age children as well of under-legal-age children constitutes abuse. Under state law, the child welfare department of Texas is required to find foster homes for the children. Fosterage would exponentially increase the harm already inflicted on the children by removing them from their mothers. There should be alternatives. Perhaps Texas could provide a safe haven where mothers and children can be reunited (and prevented from fleeing, if that is the state's concern).
Update. April 15, 2008. O'Reilly on FCN yesterday reported on opinions of townsfolk and also an account by a source inside the police investigation about what was going on in the Fundamental LDS compound. O'Reilly says it was in effect "sex slavery". Well, we don't know anything about that and rumors by a few people is not an adequate basis for a conclusion of that horrible magnitude. We have not heard from the women and the men in the compound, or from the children. I suggest that we have a long way to go to understand what was going on in the group, and we won't even be able to tell when we hear the state's charges. It'll take trials and lots of testimony. I believe it will be different from what scandal-mongering journalism says--surely to God I hope so.