When Do We Become Persons?

Do embryos have legal rights? In Alabama they do.

A probate judge in Alabama has made an unprecedented ruling that a six-week-old embryo has legal rights. The man pursuing the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of “his deceased child” is suing the clinic at which his then girlfriend had an abortion and the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the abortifacient pill that she took there.

In 2016, Ryan Magers was 19 and unemployed, and his then girlfriend was 16 and a high school senior. According to the girl’s father, Magers pressured her into having sex. When she discovered she was pregnant, she let Magers know. He told her not to have an abortion. However, with the approval of her parents, she decided to have one. On February 10, 2017, six weeks into the pregnancy, she went to the Alabama Women’s Center, and took the abortifacient pill. Two years later, in January 2019, Magers, assisted by the anti-abortion organisation Personhood Alabama, filed his petition to serve as the representative of the estate of “his dec

Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation