Kansas court hears arguments over ‘wrongful birth’ law

Family says physician didn't tell them about sonogram results that showed daughter's rare brain condition, and she was born permanently disabled.


State News

September 17, 2020 - 10:14 AM

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court seemed worried Wednesday about the proper roles of the Legislature and courts as it wrestled with whether a state statute that prohibits lawsuits based on “wrongful birth” claims is constitutional.

Justices heard oral arguments via Zoom on whether the parents of a disabled child have a right to a trial on their malpractice claims. A lower appeals court had  earlier held that the statute — signed into law by then-Gov. Sam Brownback in 2013— protects physicians from malpractice suits if they fail to provide information about fetal abnormalities that might cause the mother to get an abortion. 

The parents’ attorney, Lynn Johnson, argued the case was an action for the recovery of damages for negligent injury under common law that had evolved based on advances of technology and a recognition of a woman’s reproductive rights.

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