Wrongful Births Bill Passes in Texas

Wrongful Births Bill Passes in Texas

Earlier this month, Texas Senate Bill 25, or the “wrongful births bill,” passed the Senate Committee on State Affairs unanimously and now moves to the full Senate for voting [1]. The bill would prevent parents from suing doctors who recognize a fetal defect but fail to advocate for termination to the parents. Interestingly, the number of wrongful birth cases in Texas are minimal due to the complexity of assessing damages. Key Van Wey, a medical malpractice attorney in Dallas who has been practicing for thirty years, has never filed a wrongful birth suit, nor have any of his colleagues [2]. Regardless, debate over the potential cases of wrongful birth continues.

Support for the bill claims that this would simply protect doctors against “legal pressure to recommend abortion” [2]. Critics worry that this could lead to anti-abortion doctors withholding knowledge of defects or even avoid prenatal tests that would expose a defect in order to avoid the possibility of an abortion. Senator Jose Rodriguez comments on the opposition’s position stating that, in fact, the bill “seems to be about restricting and further limiting a woman’s right to exercise her choice about what she’s going to do in the case of serious defects to the fetus” [3]. Creighton has responded to the opposition, stating that the bill would not protect doctors from gross negligence or malpractice [3].

References:

1. Peter Holley, “Why critics say a Texas bill lets anti-abortion doctors lie to preganant women,” last modified March 11, 2017,  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/03/11/texas-lawmaker-says-his-bill-saves-disabled-children-critics-say-it-allows-doctors-to-lie-to-pregnant-women/?utm_term=.5f2a7b707943

 

2. Wayne Drash, “Texas ‘wrongful birth’ bill would allow doctors to lie, critics say,” last modified March 6, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/06/health/wrongful-births-bill-texas-senate/


3. Marissa Evans, “Texas Senate passes two anti-abortion bills” last modified, March 20, 2017, https://www.texastribune.org/2017/03/20/texas-senate-wrongful-births-dismemberment-ban-legislation/

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