The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that the word "child" includes both the born and unborn.
The decision comes in the case of a woman who was convicted for using cocaine during her pregnancy. Her baby tested positive for the drug at his birth.
Under Alabama law that is considered "chemical endangerment of a child."
The court ruled the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the lives of children from the earliest stages of their development.
"God, not governments and legislatures, gives persons these inherent natural rights," Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and Justice Tom Parker wrote in their opinion. "Government, in fact, has no power to abridge or destroy natural rights God directly besets to mankind."
Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, praised the decision.
"In ruling that a child is a child whether born or unborn, the Alabama justices have cut through decades of tortured, twisted rationales and issued a national call for courts to recognize the obvious - all humans have the right to life," Pavone stated.
Fr. Pavone talks more about what the ruling means and whether it will have an impact on other states, on CBN Newswatch, April 23. Click play to watch.