Every Child is a Blessing Act

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The Every Child is a Blessing Act of 2014

Preventing Discrimination; Protecting Life

For years, disability advocates have worked to educate the public and reverse harmful stereotypes. Yet a disturbing trend of “wrongful birth” lawsuits has subjected children with disabilities to discrimination and verbal abuse that reinforces those harmful stereotypes.  

In “wrongful birth” cases, individuals sue on the grounds that they would have aborted a child had they realized the child would be born disabled. A couple in one case secured a $50 million verdict, while many other cases eclipse multi-million dollar verdicts. The arguments used in these cases smack of eugenics and are nothing short of child abuse.

No child should ever have to hear they should have never been born. 

These lawsuits:


  • Subject disabled children to discrimination, painting them as burdens to society
  • Run afoul of the principles of the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Endorse eugenics as an acceptable practice
  • Drive up medical costs and malpractice premiums
  • Unnecessarily expend taxpayer dollars and judicial resources


The Every Child is a Blessing Act puts a stop to these appalling, discriminatory lawsuits. Specifically, the bill would:


  • Prevent discrimination of disabled children in judicial proceedings
  • Prohibit recovery of damages in wrongful birth/wrongful life lawsuits in federal court, as well as prohibit claims in state courts against health care providers operating in interstate commerce
  • Allow traditional medical malpractice claims to move forward
  • Continue to hold healthcare providers accountable to state laws regulating professional conduct for intentional misrepresentations


Verdicts:

In addition to discriminating against disabled children, wrongful birth cases can place costly burdens on the judicial system. In recent years, the number of wrongful birth lawsuits filed has increased due to the large sums awarded plaintiffs. In one recent case in Washington state, a couple was awarded $50 million in a claim that they would have aborted their child had they known the child would be born with a genetic defect. In 2008, a court in Massachusetts awarded a couple $8.22 million on the grounds that they would have aborted their child with Down syndrome. A 2007 case in Florida awarded $23 million to a couple whose child was born with a genetic disorder. 


The Every Child is a Blessing Act upholds the sanctity of every human life and prevents harmful discrimination. Join Congressman Palazzo to support the Every Child is a Blessing Act and ban wrongful birth and life lawsuits. 

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