“Wrongful Birth” Law Upheld

Kansas’ highest court has upheld a law barring wrongful birth lawsuits against doctors, in a case in which a couple sued because they weren’t told of serious fetal defects until after an abortion could have been obtained.

The state Supreme Court ruled against the parents of a girl born with a severe brain abnormality who said they would have opted for an abortion had they known of their daughter’s medical problems months before her May 2014 birth.

The Legislature passed the law against wrongful birth lawsuits in 2013 at the urging of abortion opponents.

It overturned a 1990 state Supreme Court ruling saying Kansas law allowed such lawsuits.

The state Supreme Court declared in 2019 that access to abortion is a “fundamental” right under the state constitution, meaning it would be protected in Kansas if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

The latest ruling did not cite the 2019 decision, or frame the issues in terms of abortion rights.