A quiet Alabama Supreme Court ruling over the holidays just delivered a major win in defense of the unborn.
In a unanimous court decision Friday, the state Supreme Court sided in favor of a lawsuit against an OB/GYN accused of contributing to the death of an unborn child. While Helena mother Kimberly Stinnett’s case had initially been dismissed by a trial court, the state’s highest court determined that pre-born lives are entitled to legal protection.
“Today, this Court again reaffirms the principle that unborn children are protected by Alabama’s wrongful-death statute from the moment life begins at conception,” Justice Tom Parker wrote. “This has not always been the case in Alabama. Alabama used to deny unborn children who had not yet grown strong enough to survive outside of their mother’s womb the protections of Alabama’s wrongful-death statute.”
According to the official decision, the court drew its conclusion from the Alabama Homicide Act, which identifies that a ‘person’ in utero, in any stage of development, could be named as the victim of a homicide.
“Unborn children, whether they have reached the ability to survive outside their mother’s womb or not, are human beings and thus persons entitled to the protections of the law-both civil and criminal. Members of the judicial branch of Alabama should do all within their power to dutifully ensure that the laws of Alabama are applied equally to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, both born and unborn,” Parker added.
The case centered around a lawsuit against Karla Kennedy, M.D., who was standing in for Ms. Stinnett’s regular physician. After Dr. Kennedy incorrectly determined that Stinnett’s pregnancy had been ectopic, and issued a drug that was intended to end the pregnancy. It was later when Stinnett’s regular physician determined that the patient’s fetus was not ectopic, though Stinnett miscarried due to the drugs administered by Dr. Kennedy.