by Steven Ertelt
March 1, 2006
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — The Ohio state Senate moved the Buckeye state closer to becoming the seventh in the nation to prohibit so-called wrongful birth lawsuits. It backed a bill that would shield doctors from those who say they did not get detailed information about an unborn baby’s disabilities that may have prompted an abortion.
The Senate voted 23-9 for HB 287 to prohibit the wrongful birth or wrongful life lawsuits.
Under the measure doctors could not be sued for misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a disability that parents say should have been caught.
The bill originally dealt only with licensing requirements for certain birthing centers but was amended to include language from Republican Sen. Jim Jordan on the lawsuits.
The bill now goes to the Ohio House to vote on whether to concur in the Senate amendments. If the House votes to concur, the bill will go to Ohio Governor Bob Taft.
Ohio Right to Life supports the measure and said in a statement obtained by LifeNews.com that such lawsuits "are medical claims that, but for the act or omission of a medical professional, a child with a disability would have been aborted rather than born."
One Democrat joined Senate Republicans in supporting the measure while other Democrats opposed the bill saying it infringes on the so-called right to abortion.
"It is simply a question of whether or not a person is better off dead than disabled," said Sen. David Goodman, a Republican, according to the Toledo Blade. "I think it is an atrocious and unacceptable question to ask a jury or a judge, whether they should be playing God, basically."
Sen. Eric Fingerhut, a pro-abortion lawmaker, was the lone Democrat to support the bill. He said he didn’t see it as an abortion restriction at all.
The bill is a response to two cases currently before the Ohio Supreme Court where women have sued doctors saying they would have had abortions had they been sufficiently informed about the disabilities.
The state’s high court has also already weighed in and determined in 2000 in a 4-3 ruling that state law does not recognize wrongful birth claims.