Madison County abortion lawsuit could reshape USA law, veteran attorney says

Madison County abortion lawsuit could reshape USA law, veteran attorney says

Madison County abortion lawsuit could reshape USA law, veteran attorney says

Ryan Magers, 19, of Madison County, claims his girlfriend got a medicated abortion at the Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville in February 2017 when she was six weeks pregnant, according to legal documents, even though he urged her not to terminate the pregnancy.

According to the woman's father, his family was "really distraught", adding that she was aged 16 years at the time and Mr. Magers was unemployed whilst discovering she was pregnant.

A teenager is suing an abortion clinic on behalf of his unborn child who he said was terminated against his wishes.

Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger was questioned when WHNT 19 News realized that "Baby Roe" - the name being used by the suit to recognize the aborted baby - was an unborn child when Barger was making his ruling. But Alabama voters previous year approved a state constitutional amendment declaring "the importance of unborn life".

An aborted baby for the first time in the United States has been recognized to have legal rights.

"The only thing that estate has is the right to sue, and so that is what Ryan is doing - is suing on behalf of Baby Roe's estate", Helms said.

"It represents the real-life consequences of anti-choice "personhood" policies", she said, "which, by design, seek to demote the fundamental rights of women, and are a stepping stone in the anti-choice movement's ultimate goal of criminalizing abortion and punishing women".

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel, said the judge's decision to allow "Baby Roe" in court is a huge legal triumph for the pro-life movement.

Magers' attorney Brent Helms said this case is the first one he's aware of that has been brought on behalf of an unborn child, which could open the door for more lawsuits to be brought by would-be fathers.

Helms is confident the case will be heard by the state's supreme court.

Abortion advocates in the state say they don't expect the suit to ultimately prevail, but admitted to disbelief that it's made it as far as it has.

"The Alabama Supreme Court and Chief Justice Tom Parker have set a precedent that the value of the life of an unborn child is no less than the value of the lives of other persons".

The news comes after debates on "foetal rights" has gained traction in the U.S., where abortion rights groups slamming Judge Barger's ruling as a risky precedent.

Alabama legislators passed a law in 2014 which granted lawyers the right to represent unborn children in cases where minors wanted an abortion.

NARAL Pro-Choice America president, Ilyse Hogue called it a "very scary case".

Dalton Johnson, owner and administrator of the Alabama Women's Center, said the case is "unprecedented, and we are assembling our legal team".

The Alabama Women's Center must respond to the lawsuit by April 1.

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