On Wednesday, March 3, local police in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama took into custody 31 year-old Julia Ellen Dawson after she was charged with “chemical endangerment” of her unborn child.
According to news reports, Dawson has been smoking crack cocaine as well as taking Xanax and Adderall while eight months pregnant – to the detriment of her baby in the womb. She told narcotics officers of her disturbing alleged drug usage (photo via Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office).
In Alabama, pre-born children are legally protected by the state’s chemical-endangerment statute as reaffirmed last year by the Alabama Supreme Court.
Personal friends of mine reveal this issue is more than just a policy concern. I know a local registered nurse who assists in labor and delivery.
She has told me heart-breaking stories of rocking babies born on drugs because of their mother’s addictions. She describes their screams as “chilling” and “raw.”
Photo: CSUDH Gallery / Flickr (for illustration purposes only)
It breaks my heart to consider these innocent babies who have no choice of who their mothers are, born into such desperate suffering.
We can take heart in the fact that over 90% of Alabama counties are abortion-center free. Abortion is illegal in Alabama after 20 weeks of the baby’s development, one of 11 states where such laws are in place to protect women and children.
Last week, West Virginia became the latest state to enact a ban on abortion after 20 weeks – following the State Senate voting 24-5 and the West Virginia House voting 87-12 to override the governor’s original veto of the bill.
As a longtime Alabama resident, I ask you to please join me in prayer that our state will be 100% abortion-free. We can be thankful Alabama protects innocent children from being subjected to life-threatening drugs like crack cocaine, whether in or out of the womb.
In this case, the state interest in protecting a pre-born baby legally supersedes a wrong choice the mother would seek to make.
Yet it is still heartbreaking to know that this mom-to-be could have chemically aborted this innocent baby legally only a few weeks ago.
Photo: Dmitry Ryzhkov / Flickr (for illustration purposes only)
Please pray for this mother as she detoxes without drugs, that even in jail she would find mercy in the arms of Jesus. Let us also cry out for her precious baby to be healed, and for God to prepare a safe home for the child.