March 2017 –Alabama became the seventh state to recognize its responsibility to protect the unborn child as a person in wrongful death cases. The decision was made in response to a civil case wherein a mother accused an on-call physician of causing her to miscarry after misdiagnosing an ectopic pregnancy and prescribing a drug that is sometimes used in chemical abortions.
On December 30, 2016, the court reversed a decision by a county judge who had dismissed her case, saying the child had not yet reached the age of viability.
Justice Tom Parker wrote. “The use of the viability standard established in Roe is incoherent as it relates to wrongful-death law because, among other reasons, life begins at the moment of conception. The fact that life begins at conception is beyond refutation.”
Alabama has joined Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and West Virginia as states that now permit civil actions involving wrongful death of a baby in the womb at any time before or after established viability.
These state decisions do not affect abortion because of the overarching shadow of Roe v Wade – a decision that, according to Parker, was made without historical, legal, or medical basis.