Alabama Judge Grants Aborted Fetus Representation
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FEATURING JESSICA MASON PIEKLO – Reproductive justice and women’s rights advocates around are up in arms over a recent decision in Alabama by a county judge to give an aborted fetus the same rights as a person. A man named Ryan Magers of Madison County, Alabama had learned that his girlfriend had a medication-induced abortion at 6 weeks into her pregnancy. Magers, with the help of an anti-abortion organization petitioned to become the personal representative of the aborted fetus and on Tuesday the county Probate Judge Frank Barger granted his petition in the first such move of its kind nationwide. The case may be one of the first consequences of a state constitutional amendment passed last year recognizing the “rights of unborn children.”
The Alabama case comes at the same time that the Trump administration has ordered the blocking of federal grants under the Title X program from Planned Parenthood to faith-based organization based on abortion access. Nearly two-dozen states have sued the government over the drastic changes that are set to go into effect within 2 months. Trump’s rule change could deprive millions of low-income American women of healthcare covered by government grants through the Department of Health and Human Services.
Read Jessica’s piece ‘Anti-Choice Republican Attorneys General Say States Can Force Patients Into Riskier Medical Procedures,’ HERE, and Imani Gandy’s commentary ‘Probate Judge in Alabama Allows Man to Sue Abortion Clinic on Behalf of Aborted Embryo,’ HERE.
Jessica Mason Pieklo is Vice President of Law and the Courts at Rewire.News. She is a writer and adjunct law professor in Boulder, Colorado. She is the former assistant director of the Health Law Clinic at Hamline Law School in St. Paul, Minnesota and former litigator.