pregnancy

The terrifying story of the man suing the clinic where his ex-girlfriend had an abortion.

“I am here for the men who actually want to have their baby.”

These are the words of an American man, suing on behalf of his aborted child.

Even though there’s nothing he can do for his baby, Ryan Magers wants to try and do something for future men, who might be put in similar situations.

Put simply, he thinks a female partner should give birth against her will, if the other partner wants the baby.

Listen to The Quicky’s deep dive into this case below. Post continues after podcast.

On February 6, Mr Magers filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Alabama Women’s Centre, where his former girlfriend got a medical abortion at the age of 16.

At the time Mr Mager’s then-girlfriend made her decision (when she was six weeks pregnant), Magers was only 19 himself and unemployed.

Mr Magers says she had the abortion without his consent.

Two years later he has decided to sue, under newly created laws that allow him to do so.

“The case is based on an amendment passed in Alabama last year during the mid-term elections, which made unborn babies have the full rights of a person. That amendment was passed by voters and put into the constitution and it’s referenced in this lawsuit as an area of law that supports the complaint,” American reporter Rosemary Westwood told The Quicky.

This is the first time an embryo or a fetus has been legally recognised as a person, and the case could have implications for women across the world.

Mr Magers has successfully had his unborn child named as his co-plaintive, “Baby Roe”, and his legal fees are being fund-raised by a pro-life group called ‘Personhood Alabama’.

“In filing this complaint the girlfriend is not named, but the abortion clinic is and so are its staff and the makers of the abortion pill she took,” explained Ms Westwood.

The young girl is named as the ‘mother’ in the case, which is also a cause of controversy in American press.

Through Ms Westwood’s research, her sources have told her the case doesn’t have any merit and and essentially won’t get through. “The issues brought up in the case have been decided at the Supreme Court level, so it has no hope,” she relayed, from a conversation she’d had with a prominent lawyer with experience in this area of law.

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Here in Australia, there is concern the story and Mr Mager’s attempts in a court of law will give pro-life groups more ammunition.

“What it will do is embolden the anti-choice groups in Australia to push harder. We’ve already seen several attempts in Australia at personhood style laws,” President of Reproductive choice Jenny Ejlak told The Quicky.

“That’s the implication for Australia – the tactics used in the United States are imported over and copied here with a couple of years time-lag. So we need to be aware and support our pro-choice colleagues in America,” she warned.

Ms Elak thinks the case is actually very scary.

“It’s treating women as incubators who don’t have any rights over whether they consent to continuing a pregnancy or not,” she said.

“It says a lot about the principal of bodily autonomy. In any other area of law, we can’t force someone to for example donate blood, or donate an organ without their consent.

“Even if someone else will die without that donation, we can’t force them. So if we force women to continue a pregnancy if they don’t want to, we’re not giving women the same right to bodily autonomy that we would give under any other circumstance,” Ms Ejlak explained.

Even after people die in Australia, you can’t legally harvest someone’s organs.

“We don’t want pregnant women to have less rights than a dead person. That doesn’t make sense,” exclaimed Ms Ejlak.

Once a fetus or an embryo is legally recognised, the bigger fear is that it could open up pregnant women to a range of offences.

“This isn’t just about abortion rights, for instance if someone sees her [a pregnant woman] smoking, or drinking alcohol or not wearing a seat belt, she can be charged under these kinds of laws.

“It’s science fiction stuff, it’s insane,” concluded Ms Ejlak.

Mr Magers case continues on April 1st. That’s when the abortion clinic he is suing is legally required to respond.

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