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Can a potential father sue for emotional distress after an abortion?

Russellville, AR |

There were two possible fathers, I decided to have an abortion and have went through with it. One of the potentials caused issues eventually making me decide to have the abortion. I did not do it to intentionally hurt neither of the men... But to keep safe. Now, one is threatening that he can sue me for emotional distress, as well as me pay his medical bills. I have not directly talked to him for weeks, months. But he has kept trying through family, etc. Does he have a valid case? What can I do, on my part?

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Attorney answers 8

Best Answer
Posted

You are really asking two questions. Can he sue? and Can he win? As I believe someone else answered, anyone can sue for anything. But the moment he does (if he does), your attorney would file a motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action. You have the legal right to have an abortion and, until that baby is born, the father does not have a say in it. So, can he sue? Yes. Can he win? I can't imagine any scenario under which he could, until and unless Roe v. Wade is overturned. Even then, your abortion was performed when legal, and you cannot be successfully sued for doing something you had the legal right to do. And, if he does sue you, you can countersue for abuse of process and ask for your attorney fees and costs for him filing a frivolous lawsuit. If you are served with papers, hire an attorney IMMEDIATELY to file your response, because you will only have 30 days from the date you are served to file it.

No attorney-client relationship is established with this answer. It is not to be considered legal advice, but is merely given to point you in the right direction and give you a general answer as to the law regarding the question you have asked.

Asker

Posted

Thank you! All answers were extremely helpful, however this answer really broke it down for me.

Posted

Tis would be very difficult, if not impossible to do. I am sorry for you situation.

Posted

Haven't heard of that one before. I don't see how he would prevail on suing you for his emotional distress when abortions are legal. Further, how could he prove you would have been able to naturally carry the pregnancy to term.

I am only licensed in Arkansas. No part of this answer should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship.

Posted

A lawsuit would cost more than he would recover.

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Kevin Coluccio

Kevin Coluccio

Posted

This is too often the case.

Posted

Does he have a valid case? For lawfully choosing to terminate YOUR pregnancy? I can't imagine!

Posted

Per "Roe v. Wade," a mother still has a right to a legal termination of pregnancy and this right is rooted in her right to privacy. In other words, the mother maintains rights over her body because it is her body. Ergo, to my knowledge, there is no legal cause of action for a father that is unhappy that a pregnancy was terminated. Were a child born alive, then of course the natural father has all kinds of rights with regards to visitation, potential custody, as well as financial obligations.

I think you can rest easy. But keep in mind that silly people can still hire silly attorneys to file frivolous things at a courthouse. But that doesn't mean that anything will ever come of it.

Lisa Douglas

Lisa Douglas

Posted

Excellent counsel!

Posted

I don't believe he has any chance of prevailing under those facts. You have not breached any legal duty to him. I don't believe any competent lawyer would peruse that case and if they did they might be sanctioned for filing a frivolous pleading. Probably best to ignore him but if he hararrses you go to the prosecutor .

Posted

He would have a great multitude of problems with bringing a lawsuit.

First, he would have to prove that he was the father.

He would have to overcome by allowing such litigation the State would in effect be violating your constitutional rights. It is by the laws of nature not man that the mother will have more control over the pregnancy than the father.

Plus, in Arkansas, he wouldn't be able to just sue for negligent infliction of emotional distress - he would need to show he suffered some physical injury.

I'm sure a much longer list would result if one spent the time to think through the problems

This response is for information purposes only, it does not create any attorney-client relationship. Responses to questions posted on this Forum are of a general nature only. Because it is not possible to have all of the facts of your issue addressed in this forum, you should consult with an attorney to review the unique circumstances specific to your situation. www.TheSchollLawFirm.com

Asker

Posted

He was admitted to the hospital for "chest pains" supposedly due to anxiety & panic attacks.

Scott Allen Scholl

Scott Allen Scholl

Posted

I doubt he would ever find an attorney to file a suit on this, and even if he tried to do it on his own it would likely be dismissed pretty quickly.

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