Abortion is obviously a very sensitive subject and one that has affected many people.
The controversial issue is something that continues to dominate political debate over in the US, with the pro-life and pro-choice ethical arguments raging in social and political discourse.
And this next case looks set to add fuel to the fire as Ryan Magers, 19, from Alabama, is suing a clinic because staff terminated his pregnant girlfriend’s baby without his consent.
Where the story gets into new territory, though, is that Ryan is making the case on behalf of the foetus, in what his lawyer has claimed is one of the first cases of its kind.
“Baby Roe” is named as a plaintiff – meaning the court has recognised the unborn baby as a person with rights – which has been brought against Alabama Women’s Centre for Reproductive Alternatives.
Magers’ ex-girlfriend (who has not been named), was reportedly 16 at the time of her pregnancy, and was treated at the clinic in February 2017, according to the filed legal papers, Fox News has said.
It’s a landmark case and if Ryan were to win it, it would mean men in the future would have a legal precedent to keep their baby, even if their other half doesn’t.
He told WAAY 31:
“I’m here for the men who actually want to have their baby. I believe every child from conception is a baby and deserves to live.
“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.”
However, the father of the woman who fell pregnant told the Washington Post:
“We had a long discussion over what she was going to do when she got pregnant. And we said we would support her either way.
“They weren’t married, and I felt legally it was her right to make that decision.”
US media is reporting several rights groups are alarmed because it is the first case in the state naming an unborn foetus as a person in the lawsuit.
Activists view the moves as an attempt to recognise embryos and foetuses as separate from the women who carry them and fear that the judge allowing Magers to name the foetus as a co-plaintiff in the suit will open the floodgates to similar cases.
Magers’ lawyer Brent Helms said:
“Baby Roe’s innocent life was taken by the profiteering of the Alabama Women’s Centre and while no court will be able to bring Baby Roe back to life, we will seek the fullest extent of justice on behalf of Baby Roe and Baby Roe’s father.”
“Either we fully acknowledge the personhood of the unborn or we cherry pick which innocents we protect and which ones we trash for profit.”
However, he also acknowledged the more far-reaching consequences of such a decision.
As reported by Fox News, the clinic has until April 1st to respond to the suit.
This is a hugely interesting case and whatever the decision is there will no doubt be serious implications to many more people.
We’ll sit tight to see what the verdict is.
Images via ABC/Getty