Add another anti-abortion bill to the pile | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Add another anti-abortion bill to the pile

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 9:41 AM

The long list of anti-abortion legislation grew yesterday with introduction of SB 340 by Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson and others to prohibit lawsuits over a "wrongful birth."

A doctor could not be sued for failure to inform a patient about fetal health conditions, an omission that prevented a patient, for example, from deciding to have an abortion.

Some states allow such actions, some don't. In Texas, which had allowed such suits, they were very rare. Here's an article on the debate on similar legislation in Texas.

The argument is framed by advocates that a human life, however impaired, can't be considered damages. Hutchinson says the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association has no objection to the legislation. Opponents argue that it is not the life that is the damage, but the failure of a doctor to fully diagnose or inform a patient with all information necessary to carry a fetus to term.

Anti-abortion legislation is zipping through both Houses of the legislature. Several are likely to be challenged in court and, if past precedent is a guide, be struck down as unconstitutional.

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