A Man Is Suing His Ex-Girlfriend After She Terminated Her Six-Week-Old Pregnancy
A man in Alabama is suing his ex-girlfriend after she chose to terminate her six-week old pregnancy, and the case may have terrifying consequences for women's reproductive health across the state.
Ryan Magers, 19, filed a lawsuit in Madison County against his former girlfriend, the Alabama Women's Centre, and an unnamed pharmaceutical company which manufactures the medication used in the abortion.
He told local station WAAY 31 he tried to "plead" with his then-girlfriend, aged 16, to keep the baby, and his "whole world fell apart" when she terminated her pregnancy.
The girls' father, speaking under condition of anonymity to the Washington Post, said his daughter is "distraught" over the lawsuit.
He said he fully supported his daughter's decision to terminate the pregnancy. "I knew [Magers] was pressuring my daughter to have sex, and I can't believe we are here now," he said.
Incredibly, a Madison County judge recognised "Baby Roe" -- as the lawsuit names the embryo -- as a person last week, allowing Magers to name the terminated pregnancy as a co-plaintiff for "wrongful death".
It means the case will go to court, with Magers reportedly seeking a jury trial. It's the first case since Alabama passed controversial 'personhood' legislative amendments last November, recognising the rights of embryos and fetuses from conception.
Civil rights groups warned the personhood amendment set precedent to overturn Roe vs Wade, the landmark case making abortion legal in all 50 states in 1973. Justice Harry Blackmum noted at the time that "if this suggestion of personhood is established, [Roe's] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."
Ilys Hogue, president of the pro-choice group NARAL, said it was a "chilling" case, one which put the rights of the woman third in line, behind the man and the pregnancy.
NARAL's vice president Adrienne Kimmell said the case "represents the real-life consequences of anti-choice 'personhood' policies, which, by design, seek to demote the fundamental rights of women", in a statement provided to several media outlets.
"To see if playing out in this case in Alabama should serve as a grave warning sign."
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