Alabama court refuses to reinstate man’s suit over ex-girlfriend’s abortion

Published 1:21 pm Friday, October 30, 2020

The Alabama Supreme Court refused to reinstate a lawsuit filed by a man whose ex-girlfriend ended her pregnancy, and four members of the all-Republican court used the decision Friday to argue the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn past rulings that allowed abortion nationally.

Associate Justice Jay Mitchell, in a special concurrence as the nine-member court turned away an appeal by Ryan Magers in his suit against Alabama Women’s Center Reproductive Alternatives, said the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion in 1973, and a later decision.

While the legality of abortion was not directly an issue in Magers’ case, Mitchell said he wanted to state his view — politically popular among Alabama Republicans — “because abortion is a subject that does not frequently come before our Court.” Three other justices concurred with Mitchell.

Conservatives emboldened by an expanded majority on the U.S. Supreme Court are seeking ways to get abortion before the high court so it might reverse precedent and allow states to ban the procedure. Mitchell encouraged other courts to “raise their judicial voices” against court precedents allowing abortion.

Magers filed suit last year against the clinic in Huntsville where he said his former girlfriend obtained an abortion pill after she got pregnant in 2017. Magers and the woman, who were both teenagers at the time, later broke up.

A judge dismissed the wrongful death suit, which Magers filed on behalf of himself and the embryo. The Alabama Supreme Court upheld that decision saying Magers’ appeal did not comply with a judicial rule so it had no reason to overturn the lower court.