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Measure banning "wrongful birth" claims approved by Kansas Senate


Topeka — The Kansas Senate on Thursday approved legislation that critics said would allow doctors to withhold information about prenatal problems from pregnant women if they believe it would lead the mother to get an abortion.

Senate Bill 142 bans civil actions for a claim of so-called "wrongful life" or "wrongful birth," in which a doctor withholds information about medical problems with the fetus from the pregnant woman and the baby is born with problems the mother was not warned about.

Abortion rights supporters say the measure will encourage doctors to lie to pregnant women.

State Sen. Pat Pettey, D-Kansas City, said the measure "invites doctors to break the oath of their profession." She added, "This legislation is disrespectful to woman and families."

But supporters of the bill said a doctor who lies to a patient would still be liable for medical malpractice and possible violations of standards set by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts.

State Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, said the legislation, supported by Kansans for Life, would prohibit parents from filing lawsuits where they want to be compensated for not aborting their child.

The measure was approved by the Senate, 34-5, and now goes to the House for consideration.


Hooligan_016 4 years, 11 months ago

Lovely. Glad this is such a priority to the Legislature.


Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 11 months ago

If A Doctor Lies to a Patient, Isn't that a Violation Of The Hippocratic Oath? If A Doctor has been found to have Violated the Hippocratic Oath, Can't they be Sanctioned or loose their License to Practice Medicine?

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 11 months ago

It's a lie by omission. The doctor simply is not telling the whole truth, but what if the pregnant woman or family asks a direct question about that? I don't think a doctor would lie outright, this bill seems to be about the doctor not giving the patient any more information than he has to. I hope, but truth to tell I would not bet my money on that.

Everyone is not going to decide to abort a special needs baby and they deserve to have information so they can start making plans.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 11 months ago

So what the Legislature is saying is that THEY think it is OK for a Medical Dr. To with hold Information from a Patient or even Lie if need be.. The Kansas Board Of Healing Arts and The Hippocratic Oath Govern that Decision. What an Over step of Authority! How Many Doctors will be willing to put there Practice and Reputation on the Line for this over reach of Legislative authority? Kansas Legislature: You Have NO authority to tell a Doctor how to Do His Job.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

The Hippocratic Oath is not a legal mandate and carries no weight, either in court or with the licensure board.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for the Info Cait48. My Bad. I thought the Hippocratic Oath was More important than that. I guess it is more important Morally than Legally.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

Which, in my opinion, makes it MORE important than a legal mandate and says a great deal about a government that would protect people violating an ethical oath that is over two millenia old.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago


Nice. I like that much better than "moral". You are right about the oath being more important than the law. Breaking a law is just doing something other people tell you not to do. Breaking an oath is not doing what you promised.

As for the law, a doctor should explain as well as possible anything they deem important to the patient's health and should answer any question a patient asks. A doctor that lies to patients shouldn't be a doctor.

Patricia Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

I think Brownback is a perfect example of wrongful birth.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 11 months ago

Do you realize how cruel your question sounds? I am sure you did not mean it that way. Do you really think that all crippled and retarded babies are born to single women who then promptly surrender them for adoption? I would like to have an article in this paper about families with special needs children. It might surprise a few people.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

KL does a good job here of laying out the real purpose of this bill; to stop women from aborting for ANY reason and remove any iota of independent judgment and choice by the woman who MUST, at all costs, have that choice taken away from her, no matter the consequences, even her own death. According to Brownback and the other fetus worshippers in the state legislature, the life of a living, breathing adult female means jack squat in relation to the potential life of a fetus, even ones that are horribly deformed and won't "live" for more than a few minutes. Every pregnant woman must be FORCED to give birth, even if a woman dies in the act. Why? Because they THINK their "God" tells them so.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"crippled and retarded babies"

Really? You couldn't come up with better words than that? Why make a good point on the back of demeaning and antiquated words?

Left_of_Lawrence 4 years, 11 months ago

When did every member of the State Senate become an MD? So it's small, limited government except when it comes to Women's Health. What's next, maybe not letting doctors tell patients that they have cancer, or AIDS? It would help keep costs down.

Wake up Kansas! Just about the last place we need government "butting in" is in-between you and your doctor.

somebodynew 4 years, 11 months ago

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jonas_opines 4 years, 11 months ago

"So it's small, limited government except when it comes to Women's Health."

Not really. It's small, limited government when its things that you don't like. It's the rightful duty of a just and moral society when its things that you do.

Left_of_Lawrence 4 years, 11 months ago

Good luck in your attempts to legislate morality.

jonas_opines 4 years, 11 months ago

Thank you. I'm lobbying my legislator right now to get back to only teaching right handed writing in public schools. We can't cater to the morally dubious left-handed people.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

I keep asking when people who own car dealerships, sell office furniture or insurance and have law degrees were also given the power to practice medicine just by being elected to a political office.

sciencegeek 4 years, 11 months ago

LoL--they became MDs about the same time they and House members became experts on education, the Supreme Court, reading minds to judge intent, the Turnpike and college basketball .

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Well, they are all experts on education and water resources. I guess they think they are experts on everything, unfortunately. And they claim they want smaller government. I would say they are hypocrites, but I like the term liars better.

CardHawkFan 4 years, 11 months ago

There are other reasons to inform the parent...like the fact that there are now certain procedures, etc. that can be performed in utero to help prevent severity of certain health concerns. The information is also beneficial because if there is a disability discovered before birth, there are interventions that can be put into place from the time the child is born to improve the child's life course. This bill just might be the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

DScully 4 years, 11 months ago

And the party of uncaring, morally righteous pigs rolls on in this disgusting state.

Armstrong 4 years, 11 months ago

Strawman statement of the day ! Congrats

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

They are fellow citizens with different opinions concerning a complex subject. Disagree as you see fit, but they see human life in the womb and want to protect it. There is nothing uncaring or pig-like about that.

James Nelson 4 years, 11 months ago

Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook needs to get barefoot and pregnant and stay home cooking for her man like all good republican women. AND KEEP THE HECK OUT FROM BETWEEN DOCTORS AND OTHER WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 11 months ago

Ding-a-ling-a-ling! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!~!~!

Greg Cooper 4 years, 11 months ago

OK, Kansas, where have we gone wrong? This is the story of my daughter. You tell me how wrong it would have been to force the doctor to lie to her.

When this woman and her husband learned they were pregnant, the joy they felt was immense, as it was for their entire extended families. As the pregnancy progressed, they planned, as all parents do, their child's life from birth to the Nobel Prize for Anything. They dreamed of its first date, of its growing and learning and experiencing love and loss and joy and sorrow. Of life. And then the news came: the fetus had a fatal condition that would render the baby, after birth, unable to live. Not just to have an issue with quality of life, but unable to live for more than a scant few seconds.

The pregnancy continued, and the couple faced a decision that others have faced. Their doctor pulled no punches: the fetus would be unable to live at all. They prayed, they raved against all manner of things out of their control. They were devastated, but they decided to continue with the pregnancy.

The child was born, lived a few seconds, and died in its mother's arms.

Now, the moral of the story is this: what would have happened had the doctor(s) been told by the state to keep quiet, to lie to the parents? At the least, the parents would have spent a lot of time dreaming of their child's future. They would have purchased clothing, kid's room things. They would have prepared for a normal birth and been totally devastated by the child's death.

What manner of human being can think it is alright to lie to an expectant family, either by omission or by outright statements? What part of the Republican Party's ethos makes truth a one-sided affair and deception a virtue?

This happened to my family, and I, for one, am outraged that this bill even saw the light of day outside the twisted, evil mind of those who conceived it. Saying nothing of the morality of lying to anyone about any medical condition, the pure evil of lying to a pregnant mother for simple misplaced "moral" reasons is repugnant.

Please, Kansas, show the world that we have not returned to the Dark Ages, when "religion" ruled all political thought, when reason was subject to death.

Do this, if not for your own children, for my daughter's dead child. This will not be the only time this happens to someone else. I pray to God (yes, even yours) that it won't happen to your family.

Armstrong 4 years, 11 months ago

Armstrong is not a big fan of surprises

Armstrong 4 years, 11 months ago

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 11 months ago

It must have been very painful for your daughter and all in the family to be aware that the baby would die so soon. But, I think it had to be a good thing for the family to see the baby and for your daughter to hold it, if only for a little while to say goodbye.

These little ones also need a proper funeral so that respect can to paid to them and the short live they did have, a place of acknowledgement.

Greg Cooper 4 years, 11 months ago

That is absolutely true, Frankie, and thank you for the thought.

However, if you were to pass on by that particular thought, and consider the expense, the pure torture of the parents, and that many people could not, or would not, have the strength to watch the child die, regardless of your religious or political leaning, there is no moral reason to legislate lying and deception of expectant parents.

It was a good thing for these particular parents to see the fruit of their love, but, and you can empathize, I'm sure, there are those who would react quite differently if the child was born with any life-threatening condition and the parents were not prepared for it. You, see, not everyone is so strong in their faith or personal lives that they can stand this kind of trauma. And that is when the state becomes the keeper of the child.

kuguardgrl13 4 years, 11 months ago

Caughtinthemiddle, I am so sorry for the loss your family has felt. I have immense respect for your daughter in the difficult choices she made. You should be very proud of her for how strong a person she is.

But I do agree that not every mother would be able to go through that nor should they have to. It is a heartbreaking thing to lose a child. Even aborting a pregnancy is a difficult choice no matter the circumstances. But we have to be able to make that choice for ourselves. A doctor should be honest with his or her patient. There may be exceptions, but the doctor has to live with that choice. The government cannot and should not decide for doctor or patient.

Greg Cooper 4 years, 11 months ago

She is, kugrl, and I am very, very proud of her.

And, too, I agree that her right to choose to go to term or not should be her choice, and that of her husband. That is why this bill is so heinous: it presumes to make that choice for her before she even has any idea that the choice need be made.

midwestmom 4 years, 11 months ago

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you so very much for sharing the 'been there, done that' perspective with such heartbreaking honesty. I am grateful that your family had some time to try to prepare for the inevitable death of their beloved child.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

Here's a cold, uncaring statement: A woman could go to an out of state doctor for a second opinion if she's at all suspicious.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 11 months ago

Sure, if she has the money, I have a suspicion that insurance may not cover this.

Greg Cooper 4 years, 11 months ago

Of course she could, given the monetary resources to do that, but, Ron, why on earth should she even be put in that position? And, too, like my daughter's case, there was nothing to indicate the condition existed.

Yes, there are always options. The best one, however, is to leave to the doctor and his/her patient the ability to interact trustingly and truthfully. There can be no legislation that changes that, nor any reason that a woman should have to mistrust her physician.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

I did qualify the statement at the very beginning. And, I don't think it's going to pass the house anyway. Even if it does, surely even Governor Brownback wouldn't sign it, as it does go against what I would think of as normally accepted medical ethics, which I would think of as requiring full disclosure. But, I could be wrong.

So what's next? If the health or life of the mother is in danger due to a pregnancy, is that to remain a secret also?

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh, if a woman dies because of this the family can still file a wrongful death suit. I'm sure that will be a HUGE comfort to them. Not.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh, they could file, but if this law was passed, and it was illegal for the physician to inform the woman, that would be an ironclad defense, and a wonderful grounds for a massive countersuit against the family. Don't think for a second the insurance companies won't file for every dime they have. Plus garnishment, too.

None of this makes any sense, I just don't see how it can pass, and even if it does, the courts are there to strike it down.

ebyrdstarr 4 years, 11 months ago

This law would not make it illegal for a doctor to tell a patient anything. Only protects them from a civil suit if they do withhold information. It's bad enough as it is. No need to claim it's worse.

bad_dog 4 years, 11 months ago

I have not read the legislation yet, but per the article above: "supporters of the bill said a doctor who lies to a patient would still be liable for medical malpractice and possible violations of standards set by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts."

If accurate, the physician would have a defense to wrongful birth allegations, but remain susceptible to a civil medical malpractice claims and actions undertaken by the BOHA. I would also want the legislation to make specific reference to the lack of immunity for physicians in these two arenas.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

And by the way, if you think that the House won't pass this or Brownback won't sign it think again. Just remember the tax structure and budget overhaul from last year.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 11 months ago

This is the problem with fundamentalism. When confronted with a real moral test the absurdity of its principles is exposed. Religion is a personal journey that should not be governed by any State power.

This is the opposite of limited government.

Our state is run by a bunch of cartoon characters.

Larry Sturm 4 years, 11 months ago

Our state is run by coruption bought by the Koch brothers.

booklover2 4 years, 11 months ago

The state needs to just stay the hell out of this. As CardHawkFan said there are in utero procedures that could be performed to correct a medical problem, if known.

mom_of_three 4 years, 11 months ago

So the legislature is concerned with making sure the federal government stays out of their gun laws, but the same legislature has no problem with dictating what women can do with their bodies.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

A petition against this bill has been mounted. Think it's a crock of BS that the state legislature is telling doctors they can actively and passively lie to women and get away with it? Go sign it. http://changekansas.org/action/petition/dont-let-doctors-lie

Alyosha 4 years, 11 months ago

How did Senators representing Lawrence vote? Am I missing that somewhere here?

(Edited to make it clear I was talking about the Senators.)

Alyosha 4 years, 11 months ago

Not showing any votes on the site, there, yet, but thanks for the link. Seems like pertinent information to include in the story when it's available. Lawrencians want to know.

srothschild 4 years, 11 months ago

Alyosha -- Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, voted for the bill, and Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, voted against it, as did Sen. Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, whose district includes portions of Douglas County. Here is the complete vote on this bill: SB 142, AN ACT concerning abortion; relating to civil actions related to the performance of abortions; amending K.S.A. 60-1901 and repealing the existing section, was considered on final action. On roll call, the vote was: Yeas 34; Nays 5; Present and Passing 1; Absent or Not Voting 0. Yeas: Abrams, Apple, Arpke, Bowers, Bruce, Denning, Donovan, Emler, Faust-Goudeau, Fitzgerald, Francisco, Hawk, Holmes, Kerschen, King, Knox, LaTurner, Longbine, Love, Lynn, Masterson, McGinn, Melcher, O'Donnell, Olson, Ostmeyer, Petersen, Pilcher-Cook, Powell, Pyle, V. Schmidt, Smith, Tyson, Wagle. Nays: Haley, Hensley, Holland, Kelly, Pettey. Present and Passing: Wolf. The bill passed.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

The bill is nowhere near passage yet, we have a bicameral legislature here in Kansas, like 49 of the states and commonwealths in the United States. Nebraska is the sole exception, with a unicameral house.

That means that next the proposed legislation still needs to pass the house, and after that, it still won't be law until the governor signs it. That's going to be a while yet. I doubt that this bill is going to pass, as controversial as it is. I am sure the medical community is dead set against it, and that's surely enough to tip the scales.

What I think is rather interesting that it's backwards than at the federal level, where proposed legislation usually first has to pass the house, and then the senate. After that, the President signs it, then it's law. Unless successfully challenged by the Supreme Court, of course.

question4u 4 years, 11 months ago

A doctor who believes that abortion is morally wrong, who openly says so, and who warns patients that they will not be told anything that might lead them to consider an abortion cannot be accused of lacking integrity – as long as that doctor allows other doctors to stand by their convictions too.

This bill is not needed by the doctor with integrity, it simply protects any doctor who is so contemptible that he or she would lie to patients. Are there really any doctors in Kansas who are that despicable? It doesn't seem likely, regardless of their views on abortion and regardless of the low opinion that the Kansas senate seems to have of Kansas doctors.

Why would the Kansas Senate pass a law to protect liars? How much more proof is needed that these are not rational people?

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

The Kansas Senate did not pass a law, what was passed was legislation. It won't be law until it's gone through the full process, that is, also passed the House of Representatives, and also signed by the Governor. And then, it's a law that's subject to court challenge.

And that's quite the gauntlet, indeed. I don't think it's going to make it.

That's the whole idea behind a bicameral legislative body - occasionally errors are made, and are then quickly corrected by the other part of the government. And later, the courts are ever ready to strike down legislation that is unconstitutional. At least, that's the way it works in theory.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

"How much more proof is needed that these are not rational people?"

You're talking about elected officials. So, if you think they're not rational, you're also talking about the rationality of the voters who selected them, I would think.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

The vast bulk of "rational people" left the state long ago leaving only the handful you see posting here.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

I've been thinking about leaving Kansas again myself someday, but right now is not a good time for me to do it.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

This "open letter" was actually written about the bill last year that didn't pass and was then reintroduced this year. It is VERY powerful (and I am quite jealous of her writing). The writer states that it applies just as much this year as it did last year and I must agree.
However, I have every belief that legislators are already aware of what is in this piece and the vast majority of them simply don't care. Their drive to CONTROL women outweighs any compassion they may feel for them. That need for control reminds me of the definition of "rape". Rape has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with control. Something to ponder on.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

"The measure was approved by the Senate, 34-5"

And you will notice that there are 12 women and 28 men that are Kansas senators for this session. So, at least some of the women voted for the measure, it wasn't merely a "drive to CONTROL women."

Unless some of the women wanted to be controlled, which is possible, I suppose.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

Don't be fooled, Ron. There are women out there that are just as driven to control other women as there are men. I'm not blind to the women that have no qualms about doing bad things to people of their own gender for the sake of power. Men do it to each other too.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

Cait, you are exactly right. Remember what Phyllis Schafly did to the Equal Rights Amendment? It seems to be a matter of I've got mine and I don't want anybody else to have it.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 11 months ago

Jesus (the other one, not Sam's muscular C-Street Cult jesusperson union buster) wept. Shortest verse in the bible, I believe.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

John Chapter 11, verse 35: "Jesus wept." True, that is the shortest verse in the Bible.

But, He was weeping about Laz'arus, who had died, so that is a bit out of context in this case.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree, Ron. More of a generic comment, I guess.

usesomesense 4 years, 11 months ago

The fact of the matter is this: It is completely unethical - COMPLETELY UNETHICAL - not to mention immoral and downright negligent for ANY doctor to actively withhold health information from patients and their parents (or legal guardian) and would be gross negligence to 'forget to mention' ANY pertinent health information from patients for ANY reason. This type of legislation opens the door for a multitude of potential problems down the road: 1. The mother's life is in danger AND the fetus will not likely survive either. Doctor doesn't tell anybody, both die as a result and $50k in medical bills in the process. 2. Early testing indicates the fetus has ZERO chance of survival. Parents tralalala along happy as all get out and ultimately go through entire process resulting in completely predictable still birth at great suffering, not to mention great medical express because the doctor prayed for a miracle, but the prayer wasn't answered. 3. Doctor is truly negligent and uses this as an excuse for not doing their job. 4. Loopholes (or perhaps just plain stupidity or lack of definition) allow the legislation to apply to all kinds of other malpractice situations.

I'm not 'pro abortion' but I am anti-lying. Any professional knows that omission is lying and therefore negligent. If doctors don't want to be involved in things like this they need to specialize in something else or change professions all together, or disclose to every patient that they may lie to them and have them sign a contract clearly stating it.

usesomesense 4 years, 11 months ago

Furthermore - this opens up the possibility of doctors withholding information about STD's because it serves them right if they catch something from that 'immoral' person - survival of the fittest. It's potentially the tip of a very dangerous iceberg that is completely artificially created.

Active omission for profit as well makes this very dangerous. A doctor may claim omission for 'moral reasons' that are really for profit, not to mention the same claim in cases of negligence or incompetence.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

That immoral person is very good for business, I bet!

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 11 months ago

Spies, spies, I tell you, they are everywhere! Spies are reading this in Topeka, for the House of Representatives, and they are reporting to their masters that this piece of legislation needs to die a quiet death. We probably won't hear much more about it.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

LOL!!! Ron, the "good people" in Topeka couldn't care less what you or I or anybody else on this board think. Over 70% of the people in the US believe that abortion should stay legal and not be totally outlawed. You think the fetus worshipping, pro-forced birth, religious zealots in the legislature care? They have an agenda and they're going to force it down the throats of people in this state come hell or high water.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

You know, in a way, I can't wait for these people to actually get around to challenging Roe. I believe that in the end, abortion is going to be protected under a whole different Constitutional amendment; the 13th amendment outlawing slavery. Under the 13th, one of the definitions of slavery is "forced reproduction". Constitutional lawyers are gearing up for this fight as we speak.
Isn't it nice to know that our fair state has now done a full 180 and is "pro-slavery"?
Oh and by the way, you DO know that if this law passes it will face immediate challenge in Federal Court, right? Kiss another million dollars in tax money goodbye as the state defends another indefensible law.

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

"Under the 13th, one of the definitions of slavery is "forced reproduction". "

That won't work as nobody is legally forced to "reproduce". Come up with something better.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

They are if a safe means to derail an unwanted pregnancy is taken away and outlawed. This Amendment is seriously being considered as a defense against "Personhood" laws. Do some research. I think you might find it interesting.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

A "lie by omission" is just as dangerous, and in some cases, more dangerous than a spoken lie. One of the reasons it is more dangerous is because a person who judges themselves as ethical and moral and wouldn't ordinarily lie can make a case to themselves that since they didn't say a lie it's not really a lie. One can tell a story leaving out an important detail or even just insinuating something which makes a 180 degree difference.

Having been involved with a few people who, with malicious intent, neglected to say things which they knew were important, I know how dangerous this can be. And, yes, a lie by omission or manipulation is a lie just as much as a spoken one. Any person who feels they shouldn't by conscience give out information that would lead to a decision they don't like does not have the moral fortitude to be a doctor---or anything else for that matter. What a person does with the information is their decision. And telling you they may not tell you the whole truth is not an acceptable out. There is no excuse ever for a doctor to not tell the patient the truth. I should not have to go to another doctor to see if the first one is telling me the truth. The whole idea is unbelievable nonsense.

That anyone would even consider legislation that a doctor does not have to be honest with his patients if it is against his/her conscience is unbelievably vile. Doesn't speak much for the integrity of the legislators who support this vile concept.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

By any chance, has anybody researched if this would violate HIPAA? There's a lot more to that law than just privacy.

Kathy Theis-Getto 4 years, 11 months ago

I can't find anything in HIPAA re: the lastest assault by our legislative fools. It is definitely malpractice and the Utah supremes ruled it a breach of fiduciary duty.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

I was looking at it in the sense that HIPAA states that each person is the actual, legal owner of their health information. If a physician withholds, either actively or passively, health information from an individual, it would seem that they are committing an act of fraud or possibly even theft.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 11 months ago

Cait- good points. I'm not sure HIPAA is relevant, but it may well be. Interesting, PA Supreme Court threw out the ban because the Legislature violated the state constitution when it passed a law banning those types of suits. The violation was the single-subject provision in that the wrongful birth portion of the bill was not related to the rest of the bill (post trial matters in criminal cases). I like Utah's take on the issue. Breach of fiduciary duty's burden of proof is less than fraud and may be the strongest recourse in states with the ban. "A fiduciary has been defined as a person who undertakes to act in the interest of another person. The principal characteristic of a fiduciary relationship is the trust and confidence that one person places in another. Where it exists, the relationship is usually said to give rise to three principal duties. The first is a duty of loyalty -- a duty to act for and on behalf of the person or entity to whom the duty is owed, and not to take advantage of, or injure, him or it. The second is a duty of obedience -- the duty to act within the bounds of the authority or trust that has been extended. The third is a duty of care -- the duty to act prudently. Sometimes a duty of disclosure of all material information is said to be a fourth duty; at the least, it is a necessary corollary of the other three duties and this duty extends to the disclosure by the fiduciary of material facts." http://www.hamiltonfirm.net/pdf/pub_fiduciaryduties.pdf

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

The source I found on the net said that PA upheld it (for the reasons I stated below). Makes me wonder if they reworked the bill after it was thrown out.

Kathy Theis-Getto 4 years, 11 months ago


The last I can find is a Feb. 4, 2013 waiting on the results of the appeal to the Supreme Ct of PA.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, Kathy. It's hard to keep up when ten states are all doing the same idiotic thing thanks to an ALEC written bill.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 11 months ago

I just realized that you also brought up another good point, Kathy. I'm not sure how many people realize that this is, in actuality, a cookie cutter bill templated by AUL (Americans United for Life), an arm of ALEC. Other radical red states have passed it with pretty poor results. You pointed out that it passed in Utah and their Supremes shot it down. Nine other states have also passed it; Pennsylvania, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota and North Carolina. All have been shot down on appeal with the exception of PA, who worded their's differently. They still outlawed anybody from filing "wrongful birth" or "wrongful life" lawsuits but still left it open that a physician could be sued for negligence by actively or passively (by omission) lying to a patient, pretty much taking the teeth out of it.
The poor record of the legislation in other states is probably why it was broken out of the omnibus anti-abortion bill because it will almost certainly go to appeal.

dabbindan 4 years, 11 months ago

i've said it before but it's worth repeating. this group has a bicameral steamroller and they are going to try to flatten as many things as they can with it as it may have limited mileage.

here's hoping the more flattening they try, the quicker the keys get taken away.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Thankfully I am past chid bearing days, but ladies, listen. If you get pregnant make a doctor sign an agreement to keep you fully informed of all things that have to do with your body. If they won't sign find another doctor, and spread the word.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

I wonder if the law were passed with that clause (and not found unconstitutional) would a contract make any difference? I, like you, am glad that I will never be in the situation where I have to wonder if I can trust my doctor about possible problems with a pregnancy.

Maybe off point, but I always do my own research anyway because doctors don't always keep up with the latest information or are too much influenced by the pharmaceutical reps. Not that doing your own research would be of any help if you don't know that something is wrong.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 11 months ago


To moderate republicans out there: how can you stand by and let these extremist right wing reactionaries represent your party? Take your state back.

You have let the state become governed by immoral and unethical zealots.

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 11 months ago

Texas scrambles to re-fund family planning after a $73m in savings turns into a projected $273m loss after a huge spike in unplanned births for low-income families.


Reminds me of this quote from George Carlin:

"Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren't they? They're all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you're born, you're on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you're preborn, you're fine; if you're preschool, you're F**D."

Conservative "logic"...

Crazy_Larry 4 years, 11 months ago

"Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers." ...and minimum wage workers.

Rae Smith Evans 4 years, 11 months ago

so. Doctors are going to attempt to be mind readers here? How does the Doctor know if a person would choose abortion or not? Having the information of a disability or any other issue BEFORE the child is born is very necessary to the parents who choose to raise this child. It is time to study, learn and prepare. It is time to buy a different house if necessary. It is time to properly prepare a child's space to meet his/her individual needs. It is time for parents to prepare their hearts and minds for the special trials that are to come. It is time for career changes to be made if necessary, budgets to be examined and help lined up. This bill removes this vital time from parents who need it. Why? Get your heads out of where they don't belong Republicans!

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