Iowa Supreme Court Rules in Wrongful Life Case

Today the Iowa Supreme Court passed down a ruling which created a precedent in the state’s first wrongful birth case.

The ruling allows parents to sue doctors for failing to tell them their child may be born with a birth defect thereby preventing the mother from aborting the child.

Pamela Plowman and Jeremy Plowman sued after their son was born in Fort Madison.  He later developed several medical issues, including cerebral palsy.

An ultrasound taken prior to the child’s birth showed an abnormal growth of its head, but the Plowman’s were never told about any problems. Pamela Plowman sued saying she “would have terminated her pregnancy” if she had known of the issues. She seeks payment for the cost of raising the child, mental anguish and loss of income.

The Court ruled the right to sue for wrongful life belongs to parents “who were denied the opportunity to make an informed choice whether to lawfully terminate a pregnancy in Iowa. It is not this court’s role to second-guess that intensely personal and difficult decision.”

There was only one dissenting judge who complained that the Court did not fully define “severely disabled” and asks “what happens if testing indicates the child will be born blind or without a hand?”

The problem of defining when it’s okay to kill someone is persistent in both the push for abortion and assisted suicide for one obvious reason: it’s never okay.

Claiming someone should have been killed is contrary to the very fiber of our society and the backbone of our Constitution.

All of the social glories of modern society are based on the inherent value of the individual. It is why men are innocent until proven guilty. It is why we found democracies and let people vote. It is why we establish welfare and have workers’ rights.

The heart of our society is threatened when we claim certain lives should be ended and are now worth a certain monetary value to a third party.

This post-modernist world of secular ideals where parents determine the value of their children has already taken hold in Europe where 98% of fetuses with Down Syndrome are aborted. A condition which, in most cases, allows individuals to live a perfectly normal life is being eradicated not through science but through murder.

If horrifying logic does not illuminate the horrendous problem at the heart of this case, perhaps pathos will appeal:

How would your child feel, aware that you were suing doctors because you wished they were dead?

This case sets an unacceptable precedent in Iowa (which is the 24th state to pass down a wrongful life ruling).

All men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Unless you have a disability. Apparently.

About the Author

Natalie Fraehlich
Natalie is a pragmatic Progressive Conservative from Iowa. She works in communications and politics as a Republican staffer, campaign consultant, and supporter of bi-partisan progress. Her preferred pastimes include travel, music, and art. Natalie's major influences include Thomas Paine, George Washington, and George Will.