Man Can Sue on Behalf of Fetus Girlfriend Aborted

Alabama judge allows Ryan Magers' lawsuit against clinic to proceed
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2019 6:15 PM CST

(Newser) – Ryan Magers says he begged his teenage girlfriend not to have an abortion. When she did at six weeks anyway, he sued—and for possibly the first time ever, a lawsuit on behalf of an aborted fetus is being allowed to proceed through the courts, the Daily Beast reports. "This is the first estate that I'm aware of that has ever been opened for an aborted baby," Magers' attorney, Brent Halms, tells WAAY 31. "We are confident, and this is a step in the right direction." Meanwhile, abortion-rights activists are calling this a "very scary case" that may set a precedent for similar lawsuits and possibly an all-out abortion ban. According to the pregnant woman's father, she was a 16-year-old high school senior and Magers an unemployed 19-year-old when they learned she was pregnant.

"We had a long discussion over what she was going to do when she got pregnant," the father tells the Washington Post. "And we said we would support her either way. They weren't married and I felt legally, it was her right to make that decision." Indeed, the US Supreme Court has struck down laws that would require a woman to get her partner's permission for abortions—but on the heels of a 2018 Alabama constitutional amendment recognizing "the rights of the unborn child," Magers filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of "Baby Roe" against the abortion clinic and an unnamed pharmaceutical company involved in the 2017 termination. On Tuesday, a Madison County probate judge allowed the lawsuit to proceed. The clinic has until April 1 to issue its response, Newsweek reports. (Read more abortion stories.)

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