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Estate of Baby Villegas v. Jackrabbit Family Medicine (Arizona)

Arizona Superior Court, Gila County, No. CV202200007

We are defending an Arizona physician and abortion clinic against a lawsuit by a patient’s ex-husband alleging wrongful death of an 8-week embryo.  The plaintiff claims that Arizona’s biased counseling law—which requires abortion providers to deliver certain biased information to their patients, including directing patients to a government website that promotes anti-abortion centers also known as “crisis pregnancy centers”— deprived his ex-wife of the ability to consent to her own abortion.  Over her objection, he is asking the court to award him money damages for the abortion, including the expected lifetime earnings of the embryo, had it been born, and punitive damages. 

If the lawsuit is successful, it would establish a dangerous precedent in Arizona concerning embryonic personhood and chill the provision of abortion care.  We argue that the biased counseling law is unconstitutional; a pre-viability embryo or fetus is not a person; and a physician cannot be subject to a wrongful death action for providing high-quality abortion care to a patient who wants an abortion. 


Estate of Baby Villegas; Mario Villegas


Jackrabbit Family Medicine d/b/a Camelback Family Planning and Gabrielle J. Goodrick, M.D.


Slutes, Sakrison & Rogers 

Timeline and Key Documents:

January 24, 2024

The Court Hears Oral Argument on the Motions for Summary Judgment

July 24, 2020