Judge OKs wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of aborted embryo

Hugh Fox
March 9, 2019

A man who sued an abortion pill manufacturer and abortion clinic in Alabama has gained the right to recognise the aborted foetus's legal rights, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

A Madison County, Alabama, probate court made headlines when it recognized an aborted baby as a person with legal rights - a decision that is the first of its kind in the United States.

Ryan Magers is suing Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives for killing the unborn baby he says he fathered. He said that his girlfriend proceeded with the abortion despite him begging her to keep the baby, as WAAY 31 reported last month. The US Supreme Court has always been clear that fetuses are not people and greater importance is placed on a woman's rights over her partner's because she is the one who carries and delivers the baby, Dov Fox, a University of San Diego law professor, told the Washington Post.

Amendment 2, which passed by a voting margin of 59.01-40.99 percent, outlines the state's responsibility to recognize "the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life" and to "ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate". "And that allows Ryan to sue on his own behalf and then as the administrator of the estate of Baby Roe".

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"We don't know from generation to generation what the composition of the Alabama Supreme Court is going to be", Fridy said.

"This is the first estate that I'm aware of that has ever been opened for an aborted baby", Helms said. Magers was reportedly seeking legal counsel at the time of the abortion, WHNT reported.

The petition letter stated that Baby Roe died on February 12, 2017, and does not refer to a cause of death or location. Three rulings over the past decade, Personhood Alabama notes, "involved wrongful death suits and interpreted the world "child" in the Wrongful Death Act to include unborn children as well as born children". Kavanaugh is a conservative justice who may become the fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which struck down state law restricting abortions. By the organization's estimation, the probate court's decision places the rights of a father and an unborn child over those of the mother.

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, tweeted Tuesday that the Alabama lawsuit is a "very scary case".

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"Just one month after Justice Kavanaugh took his seat on the bench, voters in Alabama and West Virginia approved state constitutional amendments meant to allow for additional abortion restrictions or even pave the way for outright bans on abortion in the event Roe is undermined or overturned", the report said.

"The Supreme Court of Alabama has defined a person as from conception", he said.

On the other side of the aisle, abortion advocates are skeptical that the suit will make it that far.

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