Driving actually is a necessity in many places. We live 7 miles outside town. There is public transportation in town, but none out here. And nobody delivers out here either. And even if there was public transportation, I can't imagine trying to, say, get groceries (even a couple of bags worth) by riding on a bus with 5 children. Public transportation everywhere or even available simply isn't feasible in more rural or sparsely populated areas.
There is nothing stopping everybody here from moving to a city. I mean, that's the argument we're having about this, right? That if this mother had really loved her child, she would've made different choices? Well, I can make that argument too. If having a child means sacrificing for that child, then you move. You do whatever it takes to keep your kid safe at all times, even if that means uprooting yourself and moving to a place with great public transportation, or giving up on the outside world altogether and having everything delivered. Because none of this is a ridiculous sentiment at all.
(And many people, including myself at times, get groceries on a bus or train every single week. It's actually easier with more children, because each walking child can carry a backpack, and you can shove groceries under a stroller seat.)