March 30, 2012
Montgomery, AL – Liberty Counsel filed an Amicus Curiae Brief in the Alabama Supreme Court in the case of Ankrom v. State of Alabama. The case involves the consolidation of two cases, which address the question of whether Alabama’s law against chemical endangerment of children can be applied to unborn children who are exposed to illegal drugs in utero. Courts of appeal in Alabama upheld convictions of mothers who were charged under the chemical endangerment law, when their children tested positive for illegal drugs at birth.
Liberty Counsel’s brief provides the Alabama Supreme Court with a thorough historical review of legal protection for unborn children, dating from ancient Greece to the present day. Common law in England and the United States, with support from the medical and legal professions, recognized that “[l]ife is the immediate gift of God, a right inherent in every individual; and it begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother’s womb.” This understanding remained the prevailing view in the United States through the middle of the 20th Century, when a societal shift prompted a “liberalization” of criminal laws, including restrictions against abortion, culminating in the abortion cases, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, (1973) and Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973), in which the Supreme Court held that unborn children are not “persons” protected by the right to life set forth in the Constitution.
Advances in medical science have established the truth of the historic view of the unborn child as a human being, not merely a “potential” human being. Liberty Counsel’s brief encourages the Alabama Supreme Court to return to that valuation of unborn children.
Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said, “Our brief convincingly shows that the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion cases are out of step with history, law, and science regarding the humanity of unborn children. In personal injury, criminal, and wills and estate law, the trend has been to recognize the unborn child as a human with legal protections. The U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion cases are an aberration to law and stand on an island by themselves, and that island will one day disappear.”