Earlier this week, an Alabama judge ruled that unborn babies are legal people entitled to the same legal rights and protections as everyone else. The decision allows a suit filed by Ryan Magers against the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives (AWC) abortion facility to proceed.
Personhood Alabama won a legal victory earlier this week when a probate judge formally recognized Ryan Magers’ “child as a legal person, allowing his case against the” Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives (AWC) abortion facility to proceed. Magers filed a suit against the abortion center last month and is seeking damages for the “2017 abortion of his and his girlfriend’s six-week-old child, dubbed Baby Roe.” In addition to the abortion center, three unnamed workers and the “pharmaceutical company responsible for the abortion pill” given to Baby Roe’s mother are listed as defendants in the suit.
When commenting on his suit and his girlfriend’s decision to abort their baby, Magers said:
“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. 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.”
In the suit, Magers and Personhood Alabama argued that “statute, the state constitution, and judicial precedent all establish that Alabama recognizes preborn babies as legal persons.” In fact, a state constitutional amendment declares it the “public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children.”
Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger officially recognized Baby Roe as a person on Tuesday. As a person, Baby Roe had legal rights which allow “Magers to represent his child’s estate.”
In response to Tuesday’s decision, Brent Helms, Magers’ attorney, said:
“We have already had a victory, and it was the first one of its kind, ever. This is the first estate that I’m aware of that has ever been opened for an aborted baby.”
Magers was pleased with the ruling and how significant for himself and future fathers. Helms is also optimistic that the case will reach the Alabama Supreme Court, and said “we are confident, and this is a step in the right direction.”
On the other side of the aisle, abortion advocates are skeptical that the suit will make it that far. However, many were in disbelief over Tuesday’s ruling. When commenting on the matter, Yellowhammer abortion fund president Amanda Reyes said:
“When this first came out, myself and the rest of the folks who do work on abortion rights in the state kind of laughed because it was so ridiculous on so many levels. But today’s ruling by the probate judge is just completely shocking.”