The Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee recommended a bill yesterday that would effectively allow doctors to lie or withhold information about debilitating genetic conditions or birth defects in order to influence women’s decisions about their pregnancies.
Kansas SB 142 provides blanket protection from “wrongful birth” lawsuits to doctors, with section 1(a) reading:
“No civil action may be commenced in any court for a claim of wrongful life or wrongful birth, and no damages may be recovered in any civil action for any physical condition of a minor that existed at the time of such minor’s birth if the damages sought arise out of a claim that a person’s action or omission contributed to such minor’s mother not obtaining an abortion.”
The Arizona State Senate passed a similar law in 2012, but that proposal contained a provision absent from the Kansas bill allowing wrongful birth suits in the event of “an intentional or grossly negligent act or omission.”
The proposal was included as a provision in an omnibus anti-abortion bill last year, but was so controversial that it ending up being submitted as a standalone bill in this cycle, according to Kansas NOW lobbyist Elise Higgins. Despite Kansas’s dismal reproductive rights record, Kansas legislators have already introduced over 90 pages of anti-choice legislation in 2013.