Ala. court: endangerment law applies before birth

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The Alabama Supreme Court has affirmed lower court rulings that the law making it a crime to chemically endanger a child applies to women who are still pregnant.

The court ruled Friday that Alabama's chemical endangerment law applies in cases out of Colbert and Coffee Counties where pregnant women had used drugs.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange called the ruling an affirmation of the state's position that life, prenatal or postnatal, should be protected by law.

In one case, Hope Ankrom and her newborn son in 2000 tested positive for cocaine in Coffee County. In the other case, Amanda Kimbrough's son died 19 minutes after being born premature in Colbert County. An autopsy revealed his death was caused by "acute methamphetamine intoxication."

Both mothers pleaded guilty to related charges.

AP-WF-01-12-13 0058GMT