In 2004, Cecil Boyd and Dennis Fuller sued the city, alleging that their girlfriends, both emergency medical technicians, sought abortions because a teacher in their training course threatened to fire them if they got pregnant.
Fuller and Boyd, the presumptive fathers of the aborted fetuses, claimed that Samantha Robinson, then interim chief of emergency medical services operations, had infringed on their constitutional rights to a family. They also asserted a common-law negligence claim and a vicarious liability claim against the city, based on Robinson’s actions.
Today, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina granted Robinson’s motion for summary judgment on the first claim, ruling that “an unwed father’s familial rights to a fetus has not been addressed by the D.C. Circuit Court or any other circuit court,” and he swept the other two claims into D.C. Superior Court.
“Given the novelty of this issue, it is unlikely that a reasonable government official would think that counseling a new EMT not to get pregnant during her first year would violate the trainee’s partner’s constitutional rights,” Urbina wrote.
The claims flow from an earlier discrimination case filed by three EMTs, including the girlfriends of Fuller and Boyd. The city settled in 2005, awarding each plaintiff $101,000.