Ryan Magers, a 19-year-old from Madison County is suing Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives after they assisted his ex-girlfriend in having an abortion against his wishes. While it’s been two years since Magers’ former girlfriend had a medically assisted, legal abortion procedure six weeks into her pregnancy, he is now taking legal action against everyone involved.
“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,” Magers said, who’s not only suing the Alabama clinic, but its employees, and the pharmaceutical company who made the abortion pills. And now that the court of Alabama recognizes him as the legal representative for his unborn fetus, the case has taken an unprecedented turn.
On March 6, a Madison County probate judge made the decision to allow the 19-year-old to proceed on behalf of the estate of “Baby Roe,” thus legally recognizing his ex-girlfriend’s unborn fetus as a person with legal rights. The court documents states, “Plaintiff, Ryan Magers, in his individual capacity and as the next friend of, personal representative of the estate of, and/or father of his deceased child (hereinafter referred to as “Baby Roe”), and files this complaint against the above-specified Defendants…”
With support from a group called Personhood Alabama, and attorney Brent Helms, if Magers’ case is successful, they could put an end to legal abortion in Alabama, and possibly, permanently prohibit women’s access to birth control. So, who is the young man fighting for the rights of would-be fathers? Here’s what you need to know about Ryan Magers.
1. Magers’ Attorney Says this Case Could Go to the Supreme Court
“We have already had a victory, and it was the first one of its kind, ever,” Helms told WAAYTV31. “This is the first estate that I’m aware of that has ever been opened for an aborted baby.
Helms believes that because of Alabama’s existing law which claims life begins at conception, largely stemming from the state’s Homicide Act, which “changed the definition of a ‘person’ who could be a victim of homicide to include ‘an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability,” Mager’s case could make it all the way to the nation’s highest court.
“We are confident and this is a step in the right direction,” Helms said.
2. Magers’ Goal is to Give Would-Be Father’s a Voice
“I’m here for the men who actually want to have their baby,” Magers told WAAY31 TV. When his ex mentioned she didn’t want to have the baby Mager 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.”
“I believe every child from conception is a baby and deserves to live.” In regards to taking legal action, “It can further pursue not only me, but other fathers, other future fathers, can actually pursue it as well.”
3. There are Numerous Reasons His Ex-Girlfriend Remains Anonymous
If it seems like the current public discourse is extremely one-sided, that’s because Magers’ ex-girlfriend’s identity can not be made public due to existing laws that protect a woman’s identity who undergo legal abortion. As of now, the reason she chose to legally terminate is unknown, but it’s also immaterial.
“The case in Alabama is chilling because it represents the real-life consequences of anti-choice ‘personhood’ policies, which, by design, seek to demote the fundamental rights of women, and are a stepping stone in the anti-choice movement’s ultimate goal of criminalizing abortion and punishing women,” Adrienne Kimmell, VP of communications at NARAL Pro-Choice America, said to Refinery29 on the matter. “The dangerous and backward policies, as well as the inflammatory lies, are wholly out of touch with the majority of Americans who support access to legal abortion and believe the government should not intervene.”
In the meantime, the father of Magers’ ex-girlfriend said “family is really distraught.” His daughter was 16-years-old at the time she was with Magers and together “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.”
4. Magers Doesn’t Want to Adopt a Child
While Helms said Magers’ major concern with this lawsuit is “about the opportunity for family” and that “Ryan badly wanted a child… the opportunity to raise a child,” he also said that Magers has no plans to adopt.
Helms is unconcerned with these kinds of queries. The attorney is not worried about the issue of whether or not it’s scientifically possible to determine the paternity of an unborn fetus so early on in a pregnancy, or the possible violation of reproduction coercion.
“I think the answers to a lot of these questions will have to play out in the future depending on what the court rules,” he said. “There could be a situation where a father has to give consent to an abortion, also, our Alabama legislature could carve out exceptions. It’s almost too early to tell.”
“This case is about wrongful death, so if the abortion clinic is held responsible, if the manufacturer of the pill that terminated Baby Roe’s life is held responsible for Baby Roe’s death, then obviously in the future, if there is an abortion where a father doesn’t agree and a suit for wrongful death is brought, it would create a lot of liability for these abortion clinics, the manufacturer of the pill, the doctors, for everyone involved.”
5. Magers got a Tattoo to Commemorate ‘Baby Roe’
“Right here, in the first rows, I have a due date,” Mager said, while pointing to the sleeve of tattoos that cover his left arm. “It’s just when the baby was supposed to be born.”
“It was just like my whole world fell apart,” he said, who got the ink as a daily reminder of his loss. “I tried to plea with her and see what I could do, but in the end, there was nothing I could do to change her mind.”
The abortion clinic has until April 1 to respond to the suit.