Court Rules the Unborn have a Right to Life & Health

The court decision on April 18 was in reference to Sarah Janie Hicks v. State of Alabama. Hicks had been charged in 2009 with violating Alabama’s chemical-endangerment statute, which in part says that a “person commits the crime of chemical endangerment” by “knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally causes or permits a child to be exposed to, to ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia,” a felony.

The Appeals Court ruled against Hicks, stating that “the plain language of 26-15-3.2 [chemical-endangerment statute] was clear and unambiguous and that the plain meaning of the term ‘child’ in [the statute] included an unborn child or viable fetus.’”

Hicks then petitioned the Alabama Supreme Court in 2012 to review the Appeals Court decision.  Last Friday’s ruling affirmed the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Ala. Supreme Court: ‘Unborn Child Has Inalienable Right to Life From its Earliest Stages’

April 23, 2014

(CNSNews.com) – In a case about a pregnant woman who used cocaine and endangered her unborn child, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed (8-1) that the word “child” includes “an unborn child,” and that the law therefore “furthers the State’s interest in protecting the life of children from the earliest stages of their development.”

In his concurring opinion, Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore wrote that “an unborn child has an inalienable right to life from its earliest stages of development,” and added, “I write separately to emphasize that the inalienable right to life is a gift of God that civil government must secure for all persons – born and unborn.”

The court decision on April 18 was in reference to Sarah Janie Hicks v. State of Alabama. Hicks had been charged in 2009 with violating Alabama’s chemical-endangerment statute, which in part says that a “person commits the crime of chemical endangerment” by “knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally causes or permits a child to be exposed to, to ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia,” a felony.

In Hicks’ case, she was charged with using cocaine while pregnant. Her child, “J.D.,” tested positive for cocaine “at the time of his birth,” reads the court document.  (See Hicks v. Alabama.pdf)

In January 2010, Hicks pleaded guilty to the crime but also “reserved the right to appeal the issues” she and her attorneys had presented earlier in trying to get the charges dismissed. Hicks got a three year suspended prison sentence and was placed on probation.

Hicks appealed to the Court of Criminal Appeals in Alabama, arguing that because the chemical-endangerment statute did not specifically use the words “unborn children” or “fetuses,” the law was ambiguous and could not have applied to her unborn child.

The Appeals Court ruled against Hicks, stating that “the plain language of 26-15-3.2 [chemical-endangerment statute] was clear and unambiguous and that the plain meaning of the term ‘child’ in [the statute] included an unborn child or viable fetus.’”

Hicks then petitioned the Alabama Supreme Court in 2012 to review the Appeals Court decision.  Last Friday’s ruling affirmed the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals.

In their conclusion, eight of the nine Alabama Supreme Court justices said: “Consistent with this Court’s opinion in Ankrom [a similar chemical-endangerment case], by its plain meaning, the word ‘child’ in the chemical-endangerment statute includes an unborn child, and, therefore, the statute furthers the State’s interest in protecting the life of children from the earliest stages of their development.”

The law to protect the life of unborn children “is consistent with many statutes and decisions throughout our nation that recognize unborn children as persons with legally enforceable rights in many areas of the law,” said the justices.

In his own concurring opinion, Chief Justice Moore argued that natural rights come from God, not from the government. He cited the Declaration of Independence that there is a “self-evident” truth that “all Men are created equal, [and] that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,” particularly “life.”  (See Hicks v. Alabama.pdf)

The Declaration of Independence “acknowledges as  ‘self-evident’ the truth that all human beings are endowed with inherent dignity and the right to life as a direct result of having been created by God,” said Chief Justice Moore.

He also cited Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, which says, “This law of nature, being co-eval [beginning at the same time] with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this ….”

Chief Justice Moore went on to explain how at the Nuremburg Trials at the end of World War II, Nazi criminals could not argue that they were only following orders or just following the laws of the German government because there is a higher law, the “very law of nature.”

“Although the Nuremberg defendants were following orders and the laws of their own officials and country, they were guilty of violating a higher law to which all nations are equally subject: the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” wrote Justice Moore.

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About arnash

“When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” - Mark Twain - Politicians and diapers - change 'em often, for the same reason. "Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other." Ronald Reagan "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley, Jr. “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” - Bertrand Russell The people are the masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it. Abraham Lincoln “Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” - George Orwell “Satan will use a lake of truth to hide a pint of poison”.
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