Two powerful groups fighting for women’s reproductive rights have joined forces under the If/When/How name. Their goal? Creating a national network to push back against restrictive abortion legislation in every state, helping those ‘whose rights are being trampled.’
The merger of SIA Legal Team and If/When/How—two existing pro-choice groups that already shape policy, file lawsuits, and inform lawyers around reproductive rights issues — launched today March 13. To date, most legal work in the reproductive rights arena has focused on protecting clinics and providers. Executive director Jill Adams says the new organization will also focus on providing a network of attorneys for everyday people facing reproductive rights challenges.
Ryan Magers Madison County, Alabama
Examples of new lawsuits include that of Alabama man Ryan Magers of Madison County, Alabama, who recently filed suit on behalf of an aborted fetus, claiming that his girlfriend had a medication abortion against his wishes in February 2017. In the law suit, filed in January, Magers filed a petition to serve as the “personal representative” of the aborted fetus’ estate.
Next, Magers sued the clinic that performed the abortion, the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville, on behalf of himself and “Baby Roe,” as the fetus is referred to in court documents.
On March 5, Madison County Probate Judge Frank Barger granted Magers’ petition to represent the estate in a decision his attorney, Brent Helms, said broke new legal ground.
NARAL President Ilyse Hogue called the decision a “very scary case”. “This is the logical consequence of all anti-abortion activity,” tweeted Erin Matson, founder of Reproaction. “Fetuses are treated like people and women and people who can become pregnant are not.”