SB 25 was brought to the Legislature in part by the Texas Alliance for Life, according to Joe Pojman, executive director of the organization which is active at the Capitol. “Texas would basically say that physicians are not accountable to a disability that they didn’t cause. That’s how we view it,” said Pojman, who added that the legislation is “consistent with the state’s policy of promoting childbirth over abortion.”
Texas Alliance for Life supports the bill. Executive Director Joe Pojman told the Senate committee that these lawsuits wrongly make doctors “accountable for disabilities they had no part in creating,” the report states.
Wrongful-birth suits allow parents of a child born with a genetic disability to sue their doctor if they say they weren’t properly warned about the potential for the disability or counseled on their options, including the parents’ choice to have an abortion based on the severity of the condition. Sen. Brandon Creighton, the author of the bill, said allowing the lawsuits could encourage doctors to seek out every possible disability and even promote abortions to avoid litigation. He also said he takes issue with the idea that there are “wrongful” births.
“Wrongful birth lawsuits are when the parents of a child born with disabilities sue the doctor and the hospital because they feel they were not properly informed of the child’s disability in time to have an abortion, even though the doctor is not responsible for the disability at all,” said Joe Pojman with the Texas Alliance for Life.
Joe Pojman, director of the anti-abortion lobby group Texas Alliance for Life, told the Senate committee that the law sends the message that a child “would have been better off had he or she been aborted.”
Julia Burns told the committee, “I have Down Syndrome. I was born with it. I am also, as you can see, a person. Period.” As she spoke those powerful words, the committee appeared surrounded by spectators with disabilities, who believed perhaps, “there but for the grace of God I might have been aborted”.