Alabama Man Sues Abortion Clinic on Behalf Of Unborn Child
A man is suing an abortion clinic for terminating his girlfriend's pregnancy without his consent, according to reports.
A judge has allowed Ryan Magers, 19, to sue on behalf of the unborn baby in what his lawyer claimed is one of the first cases of its kind. "I'm here for the men who actually want to have their baby," he said. "I believe every child from conception is a baby and deserves to live."
Baby Roe" is named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit which Magers took out against the Alabama Women's Centre for Reproductive Alternatives.
His now ex-girlfriend had an abortion on his baby against his wishes at the clinic in February 2017 when she was six weeks pregnant, according to legal papers filed in the case. The case, involving a girl who reports say was 16 when she became pregnant to Magers, then aged 19, has alarmed abortion advocates.
Fox reported that Magers was able to file the lawsuit because voters in Alabama recently passed an amendment to its constitution to recognise the personhood of an unborn baby months earlier.
"Baby Roe’s innocent life was taken by the profiteering of the Alabama Women’s Centre and while no court will be able to bring Baby Roe back to life, we will seek the fullest extent of justice on behalf of Baby Roe and Baby Roe’s father," Attorney Brent Helms said of Magers' case in a statement reported by Fox News.
He said the case was set to break legal ground, calling for "consistency" in Alabama: "Either we fully acknowledge the personhood of the unborn or we cherry pick which innocents we protect and which ones we trash for profit.”
The Washington Post reported that the girl was 16 when she became pregnant.
Speaking anonymously to the newspaper to protect his daughter's privacy, her father said the family is "distraught" over the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was reportedly filed by Personhood Alabama and praised by pro-life lobby groups, including the Personhood Alliance, as other Republican states look set to attempt to follow its suit.
However similar attempts to use the legal concept of identity for an embryo in the US courts have not been clear-cut, as the high profile case involving Modern Family star Sophia Vergara revealed. The actress has been locked in an ongoing legal battle for years with her ex-partner Nick Loeb over two embryos the couple froze in case they needed them for fertility treatment in the future.
She is remarried and wants the embryos destroyed, but Loeb, who has even named the embryos 'Emma' and 'Isabella', wants to keep them. The lawsuit has continued in Louisiana without resolution.
NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue called the latest lawsuit "scary" in a tweet on Tuesday, writing: "First under Alabama's new personhood law, asserting woman's rights third in line. Very scary case."
US media is reporting abortion rights groups are alarmed because it is the first case in the state naming an unborn foetus as a person in the lawsuit.
The case will attempt to recognise embryos and foetuses as individual lives separate from the women who carry them and has the potential to be ground-breaking.