WAAY 31 has new information on a story we've been following since February. The attorneys for the Alabama Women's Center recently filed a motion to dismiss to a lawsuit filed against them by a North Alabama man and his aborted fetus.
Ryan Magers' story is getting a ton of attention, not just in North Alabama, but nationwide. His attorney said Ryan is turning down interviews with national news media and from here out, he's not doing any more TV interviews at the request of his employer. However, we were able to sit down with his attorney, Brent Helms, on Tuesday to learn more about how they plan to move forward with this case.
Helms said it's been nearly two months since his client, Magers, filed a suit against the Alabama Women's Center for his ex-girlfriend's abortion. The attorneys for Huntsville's only abortion clinic responded by filing a motion to dismiss.
"We anticipated what they would file and were prepared for it, so now we just have to prepare for court," Helms said.
In the motion, the women's center's attorneys argue no laws were broken when Magers' ex-girlfriend aborted the fetus referred to as Baby Roe.
WAAY 31 reached out to the attorneys representing the women's center. Sara Tucker, who's based out of Atlanta, sent us this statement:
"This lawsuit is an assault on equal rights, fundamentally undermining a woman’s autonomy over her own body and the confidentiality of her own medical care. While some fringe groups hope to push healthcare for women, including abortion care, out of reach in Alabama, the law in Alabama and the United States is clear - abortion of a six week embryo is legal, constitutionally protected, and does not give rise to civil liability."
Helms responded to the motion to dismiss by saying it all comes down to whether Baby Roe is a person.
"If Baby Roe is a person and personhood is granted, which in this case it has been, then Baby Roe posses a 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law," Helms said.
Helms is referring to a Madison County probate judge's decision to allow an estate to be opened for Baby Roe, recognizing the fetus as someone with legal rights. Helms also said there's precedent in Alabama that recognizes an unborn fetus as a person.
He's arguing that if an unborn fetus is considered a person when a pregnant woman's fetus is killed in a car wreck or a pregnant woman is murdered and the fetus is also killed, that fetus should also be viewed as a person in the case of an abortion.
"It's either an unborn child is a person or an unborn child is not a person. What we have is in congruent in the state of Alabama. We say we recognize the personhood of unborn children in certain circumstances, but not all circumstances," Helms said.
The hearing on the motion to dismiss this case is scheduled for July 24th at the Madison County Courthouse. Helms told WAAY 31 that whatever the outcome is, an appeal will likely be filed either way.
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