BREAKING NEWS WATCH LIVE: Verdict being announced at murder trial over George Floyd's death Full Story

Madison County judge to determine future of 'Baby Roe' abortion case

Judge Chris Comer will make a decision within 14 days of receiving written orders from both sides.

Posted: Jul 24, 2019 6:29 PM
Updated: Jul 25, 2019 10:30 AM

Madison County Judge Chris Comer heard from both sides in the "Baby Roe" abortion case on Wednesday. He will decide if the landmark lawsuit should continue.

Ryan Magers is suing the abortion clinic in Huntsville over his girlfriend's abortion in 2017. On Wednesday, Judge Comer told both sides to submit orders with their arguments in writing of why they believe the case should continue or be tossed. He will make a decision within 14 days of receiving the orders. 

The two sides were present for a motion hearing after the defense, the Alabama Women's Center in Huntsville, filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. 

The plaintiff, Ryan Magers, wants the clinic held responsible for providing an abortion he never wanted his girlfriend to have. His team argues the unborn fetus, called "Baby Roe," deserved to live and the termination was a wrongful death.

"That unborn child possessed a constitutional right to life, to due process, and to equal protection under the laws," Magers attorney, Brent Helms, said.

In March, a probate judge granted "personhood" to Baby Roe, giving him or her rights. Magers was given the estate. Helms claims that decision marks the first time it's happened in the country, and those rights include life, something the abortion clinic took away.

Magers initially filed suit both as an individual and as the representative of Baby Roe, but on Wednesday, he had to choose one or the other. Magers was removed as an individual plaintiff and now only represents the unborn child.

"So, for the first time in the history of America, the aborted child has been able to move forward with this case," Helms said. 

Helms claims the case must continue because the abortion of the unborn fetus, which was granted personhood, is a wrongful death. Sara Tucker defends the Alabama Women's Center and argues the procedure was legal, and there was nothing wrongful about it.

"The bottom line here is this is a simple case. They have sued for the wrongful death of an embryo and at the time that happened, abortion was legal in Alabama and still is," Tucker tells WAAY 31. 

If the abortion clinic is held civilly liable, Tucker is worried for the future of women and doctors in the state of Alabama.

"There will be no medical providers in the state of Alabama that will provide legal abortions, so that is going to completely nullify any woman in Alabama's ability to seek out a legal, medical abortion," Tucker said. 

The two sides went back and forth for an hour presenting arguments. Judge Comer questioned why the mother is not part of this case. The defense says she was granted anonymity.

Judge Comer also told the plaintiff their argument right now is too "broad" and needs to be cleared up. 

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 71°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 74°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 74°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 70°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 522512

Reported Deaths: 10790
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson755371494
Mobile39129799
Madison34124500
Tuscaloosa25408444
Montgomery24059573
Shelby23225242
Baldwin20730302
Lee15638166
Calhoun14358311
Morgan14171273
Etowah13705348
Marshall12012220
Houston10416279
Elmore10024203
Limestone9862148
Cullman9509191
St. Clair9486236
Lauderdale9280233
DeKalb8762183
Talladega8127173
Walker7151276
Autauga6763106
Jackson6762110
Blount6532133
Colbert6236132
Coffee5436113
Dale4781111
Russell431239
Franklin421382
Chilton4130110
Covington4069115
Tallapoosa3922148
Escambia390374
Dallas3528150
Chambers3519122
Clarke347360
Marion3076100
Pike306676
Lawrence296395
Winston273272
Bibb256761
Marengo248561
Geneva246475
Pickens233259
Barbour227155
Hale218675
Butler213268
Fayette209660
Henry188444
Cherokee182744
Randolph177841
Monroe173140
Washington165538
Macon156548
Clay150255
Crenshaw149557
Cleburne147041
Lamar140034
Lowndes137353
Wilcox124727
Bullock122040
Conecuh109728
Perry107726
Sumter103332
Coosa99428
Greene91434
Choctaw58824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 835842

Reported Deaths: 12081
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby930851587
Davidson88030924
Knox49813624
Hamilton43402485
Rutherford42319420
Williamson27545216
Sumner23492341
Montgomery19623224
Wilson18472229
Out of TN1803295
Unassigned16760132
Sullivan16184287
Blount15180194
Bradley14599147
Washington14177242
Maury13211169
Sevier13166175
Putnam11168173
Madison10789241
Robertson9607130
Anderson8627171
Hamblen8498171
Greene7739152
Tipton7226104
Coffee6831121
Dickson6734109
Cumberland6568127
Carter6468156
Bedford6426129
Gibson6402144
McMinn636597
Roane6191102
Jefferson6073121
Loudon601669
Lawrence580686
Hawkins5781106
Monroe570995
Warren551381
Dyer5361104
Franklin508688
Fayette492178
Obion450296
Cheatham444454
Cocke443798
Rhea431275
Lincoln430663
Marshall411158
Campbell409662
Weakley402862
Giles395399
Henderson372975
Macon358077
Carroll357582
White354868
Hardin349766
Hardeman346464
Lauderdale314444
Henry312475
Marion309946
Claiborne306273
Scott305545
Overton296961
Wayne294334
Hickman280546
McNairy276854
DeKalb275653
Smith274838
Haywood268361
Grainger259149
Trousdale249022
Morgan246039
Fentress238546
Johnson231638
Bledsoe209711
Chester209451
Crockett201048
Polk200024
Unicoi194549
Cannon188931
Union186034
Grundy177933
Humphreys174221
Lake169526
Sequatchie166728
Benton163240
Decatur157338
Lewis155826
Meigs134823
Stewart130828
Jackson129935
Clay109031
Houston108533
Perry105728
Moore100017
Van Buren83421
Pickett75624
Hancock54912

Community Events