A teenage boy is suing an abortion clinic for allegedly terminating the life of his girlfriend’s unborn child, without his consent.
Ryan Magers, 19, claims he ‘pleaded’ with his girlfriend not to go through with the abortion, but says there was nothing he could do to change her mind.
And now – in an unprecedented move – a court in Madison County, Alabama, has recognised the woman’s aborted fetus as a person with rights, and is allowing Magers to sue on behalf of the fetus.
The aborted fetus, ‘Baby Roe’, is named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit which Magers has filed against Alabama Women’s Center, their employees, and the pharmaceutical company who makes the medication used in an abortion, ABC 31 reports.
Magers filed the lawsuit on Wednesday (March 6), almost two years after his now-ex girlfriend allegedly aborted their baby.
According to court documents, Magers’ ex-girlfriend got a medicated abortion against his wishes at the clinic in February 2017, when she was six weeks pregnant.
The suit says the fetus was aborted at six weeks; Dalton Johnson, who owns the Alabama Women’s Center, told ABC 31 at this point in the pregnancy, a woman can choose how she wants to end her pregnancy – either by medication or surgery.
Magers claims he ‘pleaded’ with his girlfriend not to abort the baby, saying:
I just tried to plead with her and plead with her and just talk to her about it and see what I could do, but in the end, there was nothing I could do to change her mind.
As reported by Fox News, Alabama recognises the person hood of a fetus, hence why Magers is able to sue on behalf of ‘Baby Roe’.
Magers claims he’s ‘here for the men who actually want to have their baby’, with his attorney Brent Helms saying he believes the case could make it to the Supreme Court.
However, the case has alarmed pro-choice activists, who believe this is simply a way to ‘exert control’ over his ex-girlfriend.
Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute, which is committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in the US, said Magers is taking ‘extreme action’.
Nash told Refinery29:
This man was unable to force his girlfriend to continue a pregnancy and so he’s taking an extreme action to exert control.
And Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called it a ‘very scary case’ which is ‘asserting woman’s rights third in line’:
Breaking: Alabama allows a suit from man AND fetus against abortion clinic where his girlfriend terminated her pregnancy. First under Alabama's new personhood law, asserting woman's rights third in line. Very scary case. https://t.co/xXCSyJN3AQ
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) March 5, 2019
As reported by Fox News, the abortion clinic has until April 1 to respond to the suit.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).