I (Robin) was once again asked by Texas Alliance for Life testify before the Texas Senate’s Committee on Health and Human Services. They are considering a bill that will close the door for ‘wrongful birth’ lawsuits. In other words, parents can sue doctors, nurses, hospitals (any medical person or place) because the parent wasn’t notified of their child’s disability and would have aborted if they would have known. They can sue because their child was ‘wrongfully born’. This is what I read before them today that supports giving anyone and everyone the right to life:
Hello, My name is Robin Steele from San Marcos, TX. I am speaking in favor eliminating the cause of action called “Wrongful Birth”. My wife, Erica, and I were expecting our first child in September 2001. When had our first sonogram at 30 weeks of pregnancy, all our dreams and visions for our child came to a crashing halt. Our daughter’s brain was almost non-existent. She was diagnosed with profound hydrocephalus. “Your daughter might not be born alive or live very long after birth. She could possibly be blind, deaf, and severely disabled. Most likely, there will be learning disabilities and mental retardation.”
We were given two options. C-section at 38 weeks or a late term abortion out of state
Kennady was born November 24, 2001. After birth a MRI revealed that her condition was actually much worse than they originally thought. She had Alobar Holoprosencephaly. The brain surgeon told us she could be expected to live anywhere from 6 months to two years (if she was lucky).
Kennady celebrated her 14th year birthday in November. She is unable to walk or talk, She is unable to sit up or eat on her own. However, She is the happiest seventh grader you have ever seen in a wheelchair. She speaks volumes with a contagious smile. Your heart will melt when you take her by the hand, and she starts giggling. She doesn’t know about the tension in the Middle East. She has never met a stranger and has no clue that people stare in the grocery store.
Suing a medical professional because our Kennady was born with a disability is like suing CBS because the Panthers lost the Superbowl….as if the network had responsibility in the loss. If all odds are against the our favorite team and it looks as though they will lose, the team will still want to play and give it their best. The game is really up to the team. The disability and chance for life is truly owned by the child. It is his or her right to have a chance at life to live or die naturally. Who are we to usurp our authority into a situation where only God owns the rights?
As parents, we take ALL responsibility for that child until that child has reached the age of personal responsibility. If that child never reaches that age, then you, as the parent, must own that responsibility. That is part of living in the world in which we live. Things don’t go as planned. Hurdles, mountains, and deserts are to be crossed. When these challenges come our way, we don’t look to the nearest scapegoat in order to make ourselves feel better or skirt our responsibility. No, we do the right thing. We love our kids and raise them to be all they can be. We learn from them. We are changed into better people because we have allowed brokenness to be meaningful.