A court in Alabama is allowing a lawyer to represent an unborn foetus to sue an abortion in a first of its kind case in the US.
As reported byVice News, in February Ryan Magers sued the Alabama Women's Centre for Reproductive Alternatives in Madison County for giving his girlfriend an abortion two years ago.
Magers had reportedly pleaded with his girlfriend not to get an abortion, but she made the choice to go through with the procedure just six weeks after the child was conceived.
Earlier this week, Magers' petition to have Madison County's probate court represent 'Baby Roe' was granted, which would allow him to sue to the clinic on behalf of the unborn foetus.
Speaking to the local news outlet WAAY,Magers' attorney, Brent Helms, hailed the decision as a 'victory':
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.
The only thing that estate has is the right to sue, and so that is what Ryan is doing, is suing on behalf of Baby Roe's estate.
We are confident, and this is a step in the right direction.
Magers added that he hopes it will present opportunities for 'future fathers to pursue it as well'.
It can further pursue not only me, but other fathers, other future fathers, can pursue it as well.
While it remains to be seen what the court will decide, activists have voiced their concerns over the decision as it effectively gives men more rights than the women they have impregnated.
Speaking to Vice, the Guttmacher Institute’s senior state issues manager Elizabeth Nash feared what the consequences this case could lead to.
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.
The pro-choice ground NARAL also condemned the case calling it 'chilling and completely unacceptable'.
An Alabama court has become the 1st in the U.S. to grant “personhood” rights to a fetus.
This means the order of… https://t.co/7aCnKt3zLj
This is believed to be the first lawsuit to take advantage of a measure passed during November's midterm elections which allowed Alabama to alter it's own constitution and recognise 'the rights of unborn children, including the right to life'.
It is known as the 'fetal personhood clause' and made Alabama, where the amendment was supported by almost 60 per cent of voters, the first to introduce such a measure.