A man whose girlfriend chose to terminate her pregnancy two years ago won the right to sue the abortion clinic that performed the procedure on behalf of the unborn fetus this week, according to VICE News.
Ryan Magers, 19, sued the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives last month for going through with the procedure after Magers had repeatedly asked his girlfriend not to end the pregnancy, court documents say.
The procedure was performed when the fetus was six weeks old.
Probate Judge Frank Barger granted Magers' petition requesting the ability to represent the estate of “Baby Roe,” VICE News reported, allowing him to move forward with the lawsuit.
Magers' attorney, Brent Helms, said this “is first estate that I'm aware of that has ever been opened for an aborted baby” and described the petition as a “victory.”
Alabama passed a measure in November last year amending its constitution to confer rights upon unborn fetuses — a measure that nearly 60 percent of voters in the state supported.
Guttmacher Institute’s Senior State Issues Manager Elizabeth Nash warned last year that the so-called “fetal personhood clause” could reach beyond abortion.
“There are concerns that that language would apply more broadly to something other than abortion, like perhaps actions by a pregnant person or miscarriage, or like somehow that could be applied to criminalize pregnancy in some way,” she told VICE News.
The news outlet noted, however, that this is not the first time a fetus has been represented in an Alabama court:
“In 2014, Alabama legislators passed a law to let lawyers represent fetuses in cases where minors wanted abortions; no other state had ever implemented such a law.”
That law was struck down by a federal judge in 2017.