April 22, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Last Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling that reaffirmed the state's protections against chemical endangerment “for all persons–born and unborn.” This decision marks a major victory for the pro-life cause around the country, as the legal framework of abortion begins to crumble.

The case centered on Sarah Janie Hicks, who knowingly used dangerous and illegal drugs while pregnant. When the baby was born, the child tested positive for high levels of drugs and Hicks was charged with violating Alabama's chemical endangerment statute.


Pro-abortion lawyers argued that the term “child” in Alabama law excludes the unborn, but the Alabama Supreme Court rejected that reasoning and doubled down on their pro-personhood Ankrom v. State decision from last year. They upheld Hicks's conviction in an 8-1 decision.

Chief Justice Roy Moore's concurring opinion was especially dazzling, written especially “to emphasize that the inalienable right to life is a gift of God that civil government must secure for all persons–born and unborn.”

“Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment,” Moore wrote, “states have an obligation to provide to unborn children at any stage of their development the same legal protection from injury and death they provide to persons already born.”

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Chief Justice Moore then recites a litany of legal, historical, and scriptural precedents that “attest to the sanctity and personhood of unborn life” in order to support the court's conclusion. In a thinly veiled criticism of the United States Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence, Justice Moore analyzed the judgment at Nuremberg to ascertain the role of courts in overturning “settled” judicial opinions that contravene the “higher law” that protects the right to life.

The Alabama Supreme Court's decision to reaffirm their pro-personhood rulings marks significant progress toward full protection of the unborn. Child abuse and endangerment inside the womb can be just as dangerous as outside the womb. 

Yet unhinged abortion advocates from Planned Parenthood think that there are no cases in which a woman should be prosecuted for endangering her child in the womb and that any protection of unborn children violates a woman's right to choose whether to do hard drugs or not while pregnant.

The reality is that mothers and their unborn children must both be cared for and protected. Interventions to help women with drug addictions are essential to protecting both lives. But demonstrating reckless disregard for an unborn child through persistent and intentional drug abuse ought not be tolerated in a civilized society. As the Alabama high court points out, if the law turned a blind eye to such cases, it would deny equal protection to children who deserve to develop in a drug-free environment.


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