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Abortion, and the “abortion pill,” are legal in Alabama. However, that didn’t stop a 21-year old man from filing a lawsuit against the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives which allegedly prescribed the abortion pill for his then-17 year old ex-girlfriend. The medication terminated the pregnancy, but the man’s girlfriend says that went against his wishes.
Ryan Magers filed the lawsuit, claiming that he represented the rights of the embryo his ex-girlfriend terminated. And, a probate court judge in Madison County, AL opened an estate for the embryo, dubbed “Baby Roe” in court filings. The Alabama Constitution was amended in November 2018 to include a statement about recognizing the rights of unborn children. Magers’ suit relies on this new language, which he and his attorney say support his right to sue on behalf of the terminated embryo. The defendant in the case, the Alabama Women’s Center, said in a statement that it sees this lawsuit as little more than an “attempt to harass and intimidate abortion providers.”
No matter which side of the abortion debate you fall on, this will be an interesting case to watch. Anti-abortion activists, intent on overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark “Roe v. Wade” decision, hope this case turns in their favor, helping support their beliefs that abortion should never be an option. Pro-choice advocates, including Planned Parenthood, see this case as having the potential of setting a dangerous precedent – one that could ultimately have wide-ranging implications on everything from birth control to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other types of fertility treatments.