On April 18, 2014, when the Alabama Supreme Court issued its stunning ruling in the case of Sarah Janie Hicks v. State of Alabama, not many seemed to notice and mainstream media all but ignored the Court’s actions. Yet it’s possible that this brilliant 8-1 decision has set the tone to lead the charge against the inhuman crime of eliminating children because they’re an inconvenience or unwanted.
Should other states be so inclined to follow suit, all they need to do is follow the prescription set forth by the Alabama legislature and have a State Supreme Court willing to do battle with poor public policy. The succinct ruling could, in fact, be the impetus to encourage other states to bravely move toward a more humanitarian, pro-life mentality, and here’s why.
The case originated in 2009 when Hicks was charged under Alabama’s chemical-endangerment statute for giving birth to a child who tested positive for cocaine. Hicks had ingested cocaine while pregnant with her son, “J.D.” and per Alabama Statute 26-15-3.2, it is a crime to expose a child to a harmful environment over which he or she does not have control.
To further clarify, the Statute defines that it is a crime to knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally permit a child to be exposed to, ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance, or drug paraphernalia as defined by Alabama law.
Although Hicks admitted to abusing illegal drugs, she alleged she was not guilty of this offense, because in her opinion, a fetus is not the same as a child, and therefore not covered under the State law. According to Hicks, the case should have been dismissed because ingesting cocaine during pregnancy couldn’t have possibly done any harm to anyone else, since the life inside her womb wasn’t technically a child.
However, at the November 2009 Trial Court hearing, her argument was unsuccessful and the judge refused to dismiss the case. Hicks then filed a Motion to Declare the Statute Unconstitutional, using an argument similar to the one she presented in her initial motion to dismiss. This matter was not ruled upon.
Finally, in January 2010, the Hicks entered a plea of guilty to the charge of chemical-endangerment of a child, but reserved the right to an appeal. The Trial Court sentenced Hicks to three years imprisonment. The sentence was suspended, and Hicks was placed on supervised probation for one year.
Joanne Moudy is the author of “The Tenth,” a paranormal thriller exploring the very real trauma of abortion in a fictional realm. She proudly served as an officer in the military for nine years, before specializing in emergency nursing until retirement. She speaks regularly on the subjects of religious freedom, traditional marriage, and pro-life, and the impact of liberalism and secularism on all of humanity. You can follow her on Twitter @composedof1.