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“Wrongful birth” lawsuits would be outlawed under new Texas bill

March 1, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (WBAP/KLIF News) — The Texas Senate Affairs Committee has unanimously approved a bill that would no longer allow lawsuits charging doctors with “wrongful birth”. These are lawsuits involving accusations that a doctor withheld information about problem pregnancies from parents who otherwise might have decided to terminate a pregnancy. The suits allow parents to seek damages for the high cost of raising a child with disabilities.

Bill author Sen. Brandon Creighton of Conroe says suits like these send a message that some individuals aren’t worthy of being born.

“There are no wrongful births,” he said. “Children born with disabilities ought to have the same rights as any able person. Their lives are just as valuable as any.”

Creighton added that the fear of liability might lead some doctors to recommend abortion to avoid being sued.

Opponents of the bill testified that eliminating this cause of action might lead to doctors opposed to abortions withholding knowledge of a fetal abnormality to prevent parents from opting for termination, but Creighton said that existing malpractice laws are adequate.

The measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration.