Wrongful Birth Bill Moves On

House Republicans want Iowa to join a dozen states that bar lawsuits against doctors who do not provide pregnant women with information about abnormalities that might prompt some women to seek an abortion. House Speaker Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake is the top Republican in the legislature.

Last fall, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled a Fort Madison woman had a right to sue her doctor after giving birth to a child with cerebral palsy. Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (KROW-shell), a Democrat from Ames, says the woman has argued she might have chosen to have an abortion if she’d known she’d give birth to a “severely disabled child that will never walk or talk.”

A bill eligible for debate in the Iowa House would prohibit so-called “wrongful birth” lawsuits that seek money to cover the lifetime costs of caring for a child with profound disabilities.