(CNSNews.com) -- On Feb. 6, 2019, Frank Barger, a probate judge in Madison County, Ala., ruled that Ryan Magers could legally be recognized as the “personal representative” of “Baby Roe,” a child aborted by his former girlfriend at the Alabama Women’s Center in February 2017. By that very fact, the aborted child is recognized as a person in Judge Barger's courtroom.
Magers is seeking to sue the Alabama Women’s Center in Madison County and the manufacturer of the abortion pill administered by the center for the “wrongful death” of Baby Roe. Magers’ former girlfriend is not a party to the lawsuit. (See baby_roe_complaint_-_date_stamped_for_public_release.pdf)
Probate Judge Barger’s ruling declared, “The Decedent” — meaning Magers’ baby — “is a person whose estate is subject to administration in the State of Alabama.” This ruling comes in the aftermath of the new pro-life amendment to Alabama’s constitution, which was approved by voters in November 2018. (See decree_granting_letters_of_admin._and_letters_of_admin.pdf)
According to the Alabama Secretary of State office, “Amendment 2 provides that it would be the public policy of the state to recognize and support the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life; and to protect the rights of unborn children. Additionally, the amendment would make clear that the state constitution does not include a right to abortion or require the funding of an abortion using public funds.”
“The Decedent left no last will and testament and no other legal instrument relating to the disposal or distribution of his or her estate,” explained the judge. “The petitioner is fit to be named as the personal representative of the Decedent’s estate and is legally entitled to Letters of Administration.”
“The Decedent died leaving a future interest in property in Madison County,” ruled the judge, and “the award of damages in such cause of action shall vest the Decedent with personal property.” (See decree_granting_letters_of_admin._and_letters_of_admin.pdf)
Brent Helms, an attorney representing Magers, was quoted by local news outlet WAAY TV saying: “We have already had a victory, and it was the first one of its kind, ever.” At this point in the case, Magers can now move forward with suing the clinic on behalf of his aborted child.
In an interview with CNSNews.com, Helms said, “I don’t know that a judge has ever recognized the personhood of an unborn aborted child…. I’m not saying it hasn’t happened, I’m just saying I did not find it. And if it has happened, I certainly would like to know about it.”
This case is historically significant, according to Helms, because “it would be the first estate ever opened for an unborn aborted child, as opposed to just simply an unborn child.”
In an email to CNSNews.com, Alabama Women’s Center owner Dalton Johnson said, “This lawsuit seeks to undermine a woman’s fundamental right to abortion. This is yet one more attempt to harass and intimidate abortion providers. While anti-abortion opponents hope to push abortion care out of reach in Alabama, we remain steadfast in our commitment to serving the women of our state.”
This case apparently has the potential to compel changes to state or even federal law. “Neither party wants to lose, and I think both will be pretty determined to take it as high as it needs to go,” said Helms.
“My assumption would be whoever loses the case in the circuit court, Madison County Court, will likely appeal in the court of civil appeals in the State of Alabama,” he said. “Whoever loses there in the court of civil appeals will likely appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, and potentially there could be an appeal from the Alabama Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
The entities named in the lawsuit reportedly have until April 1st to respond. The petition requests a jury trial. (See baby_roe_complaint_-_date_stamped_for_public_release.pdf)