Would-be father whose unborn baby was aborted can sue clinic, Alabama judge says

Baby in the womb
An image of an unborn child. |

Ryan Magers, a would-be father whose girlfriend aborted their 6-week-old unborn baby two years ago, was granted permission to sue the clinic that provided the abortion after an Alabama probate judge recognized the fetus as a person with legal rights.

Magers’ attorney, Brent Helms, told news station WAAY 31 that the recognition of the unborn child as a person with legal rights, is the first decision of its kind in the nation. Probate Judge Frank Barger signed off on a letter of petition allowing Magers to represent Baby Roe’s estate, WHNT 19 said.

“We have already had a victory, and it was the first one of its kind, ever," Helms told WAAY 31. "This is the first estate that I'm aware of that has ever been opened for an aborted baby.”

Helms is now suing Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives on behalf of Magers and "Baby Roe" for providing a chemical abortion to his girlfriend even though he begged her not to end her pregnancy.

"I'm here for the men who actually want to have their baby," Magers said after he filed a lawsuit last month in Madison County against the abortion clinic, their employees and the pharmaceutical company that makes the medication used to abort of his child.

Magers said he pleaded with his girlfriend not to end the life of his unborn child because he believes “every child from conception is a baby and deserves to live.”

"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," Magers said.

He says he is now fight to help other would-be fathers who might find themselves in the same situation.

"Even though there's nothing I can do for the situation I was in, there is something I can do for the future situations for other people," he said.

Helms said Magers was seeking legal counsel at the time of the abortion in February 2017. He said he petitioned to represent the estate of Baby Roe because with estate, the fetus has the right to sue under probate law in Alabama.

Personhood Alliance, the pro-life organization that helped Magers sue on behalf of his unborn child, explained that the suit was brought to prevent profiting from abortion.

“In most states, wrongful death lawsuits can take into consideration medical bills, lost earning capacity, and other factors, but in Alabama, wrongful death lawsuits are meant exclusively to punish the defendant for their wrongful behavior and to deter similar conduct by others. This means that, if this case is successful, Alabama law could punish abortion clinics and pharmaceutical companies under the wrongful death law to prevent them from continuing to profit from the killing of pre-born children,” the organization explained.

The decision recognizing the legal rights of unborn children in Alabama, sparked a rounded rebuke from abortion rights groups.

“Yesterday, an Alabama court asserted that a pregnant person’s rights are third in line — AFTER the person who impregnated them and AFTER the fetus. This is the reality of the anti-choice movement's goal of punishing women,” NARAL wrote in a tweet Wednesday.

A day earlier, the organization’s President Ilyse Hogue called the decision “scary.”

“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,” Hogue wrote in a tweet.

Alabama voters decided last November that unborn babies should have the same rights as individuals born alive under state law.

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