Alabama Supreme Court upholds dismissal of wrongful abortion lawsuit

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. — The Alabama Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s decision to throw out a lawsuit filed by a man who sued the clinic that performed an abortion for his ex-girlfriend.

The high court upheld the ruling that Ryan Magers did not adequately argue his case against the Alabama Women’s Clinic in Huntsville.

Magers sued in Madison County District Court last year on behalf of the fetus, which was referred to as Baby Roe in court documents. Magers sued over the wrongful death of the fetus, which was aborted at six weeks.

The case was also notable because Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger signed over rights of the fetus’s estate to Magers, which his attorneys used to argue that the fetus was a person with rights.

But Madison County District Court Judge Chris Comer dismissed Magers’s lawsuit, siding with the clinic, which argued abortions are legal to perform in Alabama and the clinic didn’t owe any duty of care rights to the father. He also dismissed the issuance of documents for an estate as “ministerial in nature.”

Magers lost his initial appeal because the court found he did not adequately present his case and provided a citation to one other case without a written argument on how it supported his appeal. The Alabama Supreme Court upheld that court’s ruling, writing that “It is the responsibility of the appellant to make arguments accompanied by analysis, supported by relevant authority and citations to the record, and to show how that authority supports the finding of reversible error. A conclusory statement followed by a string citation does not suffice.”

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