Court: Parents of disabled child can sue for wrongful birth

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says the parents of a severely disabled child can sue medical providers for failing to warn of fetal abnormalities that would have caused the mother to have an abortion.

Friday’s ruling marks the first time that a wrongful birth claim has been recognized in Iowa. The opinion notes that 23 other states allow such lawsuits.

The case involves a boy born with cerebral palsy and other impairments that require frequent doctors’ visits and make it unlikely he’ll ever walk or speak. They allege that the mother was assured after an ultrasound that “everything was fine” with the fetus even though doctors had found the head was abnormally small.

The court says parents should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about whether to terminate a pregnancy.