Judge OKs wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of aborted embryo

Posted March 09, 2019

An Alabama judge granted legal rights to an aborted child after the father sued the abortion clinic which ended the baby's life against the his wishes.

On Tuesday, Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger recognized Baby Roe as a person with legal rights, WAAY reports, allowing Magers to represent his child's estate.

Al.com reported Wednesday that Ryan Magers is calling the 6-week-old embryo "Baby Roe" in his suit seeking damages from the Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives. Ryan Magers, 19, of Madison County, has alleged that his girlfriend attained a medication abortion in 2017, despite his repeated protests that she let the child live.

In the suit, Magers and Personhood Alabama argued that "statute, the state constitution, and judicial precedent all establish that Alabama recognizes preborn babies as legal persons".

Brent Helms, the attorney for Magers and "Baby Roe", says the case breaks legal ground.

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"The case in Alabama is chilling because it represents the real-life consequences of anti-choice "personhood" policies, which, by design, seek to demote the fundamental rights of women, and are a stepping stone in the anti-choice movement's ultimate goal of criminalizing abortion and punishing women", Kimmell said.

But WHNT said it's not clear if Barger knew what he was granting.

"I'm here for the men who actually want to have their baby", Magers told WAAY 31.

In the letter of petition filed on January 25, Baby Roe is not referred to as a "fetus", WHNT noted.

The abortion clinic, Alabama Women's Centre for Reproductive Alternatives, in Huntsville has until April 1 to respond to the lawsuit.

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The news comes after debates on "foetal rights" has gained traction in the United States, where abortion rights groups slamming Judge Barger's ruling as a unsafe precedent.

A NARAL spokesperson tweeted that the order of rights would go first to the "man who impregnated [the] woman, the foetus, and then the "pregnant person".

". While a lot of liberal states have been increasingly active in assaulting the pre-born's personhood, in Alabama, they have consistently upheld the view that the pre-born child is a person deserving equal protection under the law", Jones also said. The father wanted to keep the child but the mother wanted an abortion, court documents say.

Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called it a "very scary case" that is "asserting woman's rights third in line" on Twitter.

Many experts anticipate that the "Baby Roe" case will eventually find its way up to the Supreme Court.

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The lawsuit's defendants include the abortion clinic, staff members and a drug maker that manufactured the drug used in the abortion, according to the court filing.