by JASMINE ELSHAMY Photo/Video Editor
Arizona Senate passed a law this past week to allow doctors to keep quiet on any prenatal issues or birth defects, with many saying that it is to prevent women from getting abortions. They have called for a law that will, if passed, eliminate malpractice suits that are brought on by families that believe doctors willingly withheld information about their unborn children.
There have been previous cases where doctors have been sued for not listing any and all birth defects with the child before the birth. Some say that had the mothers and fathers of the children been privy to this information, it may have led them to consider an abortion.
“I’m repulsed by the fact that this law even was an idea,” says sophomore Jenna Parisen. “Has anyone thought of the women who die during childbirth because of something that could have been prevented beforehand? Or what about those babies with downs syndrome? That takes a lot of mental preparation and can be a lot for a family to handle.”
State Senator Nancy Barto, a Republican Party member and sponsor of the bill, says she was shocked to find that lawsuits were being lobbed by parents who believed their doctors purposely did not disclose enough information about the risk of birth defects and disabilities.
“When I first heard of this issue, I couldn’t believe that these lawsuits are actually happening,” Barto told KTAR News. “That some couples, after they give birth to their child that has a disability, would claim that the child should not have been born, and would sue to get damages.”
Parents have in the past pursued legal action for doctors they allege did not disclose information that could have caused them to abort the child, but if the Arizona bill passes, doctors who lie to parents over the health of a fetus would be free from these suits. Anti-abortionists will probably be on board with this, but pro-choice citizens definitely will not.
“My concern is why aren’t all the women in Arizona in an uproar right now? This can be a serious problem for any woman who plans on having a baby, it should be their right to know every single detail about their baby that they can before its birth!” says sophomore Eliana Aerts.