Most would agree that life begins at conception. A human sperm and human egg connect to form a human fertilized egg, with his own soul and unique DNA, and developing day by day. The difference between those who believe this tiny and vulnerable human being has a right to live and those who don’t is vast. Some pro-lifers believe that killing this child rises to the level of murder. The other side believes the woman’s “choice” trumps all other considerations.
The fact that life begins at conception doesn’t need technological confirmation, but it doesn’t hurt. Polls or opinions from influential people aren’t required, either, but they help.
Last week, Alabama’s highest court ruled that unborn children and other children should have the same legal standing. Sarah Janie Hicks used illegal drugs while pregnant. After birth, the baby tested positive for the substance, and Hicks was charged. She pled guilty to endangering her child with chemicals. The issue in the case was whether the use of the word “child” in the state’s chemical-endangerment statute “includes all children, born and unborn, and furthers Alabama’s policy of protecting life from the earliest stages of development.”
The court contended that because “both born and unborn children can be exposed to controlled substances, we have no reason to doubt that the legislature intended for the chemical-endangerment statute to be using the plain meaning of the word “child” and thereby protecting all children.”
It’s sad and telling that Hicks sought to argue her way out of the consequences of harming her own baby merely because the child was still inside her body.
In a concurring opinion, Justice Tom Parker wrote hat the right to live is inalienable, and that states have an affirmative duty to protect unborn life under the Equal Protection Clause. Although the case isn’t directly related to abortion, this is the sort of reasoning that will protect at least some unborn babies from their killers’ death instruments.
Photo credit: Franciscan University (Creative Commons)