Alabama Judge Lets Boyfriend Sue Abortion Clinic With Fetus as Co-Plaintiff

An Alabama county court recognized an aborted fetus as a plaintiff in a lawsuit Tuesday, opening a new chapter in the fight for reproductive rights in the United States.

Madison County probate court Judge Frank Barger allowed Ryan Magers to name the fetus his girlfriend had aborted as a co-plaintiff in his case against Alabama Women’s Center.

The judge’s decision to establish an estate for the fetus, allowing the suit to move forward, came four months after the passage of Amendment 2 by voters in a state referendum last November. The law, which passed by 18 percentage points, gives fetuses the same legal rights held by a person under the state constitution.

Women’s rights advocates on social media slammed the decision, noting that it was perhaps the first time in U.S. history a fetus was named as a co-plaintiff in a case.

As NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue wrote on social media, the “very scary case” asserts that a “woman’s rights [are] third in line,” after those of a man who impregnates her and the fetus she aborts.

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