HB 434

85(R) - 2017
House State Affairs
House State Affairs
Civil Remedies

Companion Bill

SB 25

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Ron Simmons

Bill Caption

Relating to eliminating the wrongful birth cause of action.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

HB 434 modifies the civil practice and remedies code by adding a chapter that prohibits a cause of action for wrongful birth. Wrongful birth cause of action is one type of medical malpractice claim, alleging that parents were not properly informed on the potential consequences of having a baby with disabilities, and that if they had been properly informed they may have choose to abort the fetus. Typically parents seek damages for a child born with birth defects. This bill prohibits damages from being awarded on the grounds of wrongful birth. 

This bill also clarifies that this section may not be construed to eliminate any duty of a physician or other health care practitioner under any other applicable law. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

If a physician has done nothing wrong it makes no sense to place them in legal limbo. Disabilities and abnormalities are sometimes not obvious, and not always discoverable through tests. In light of Texas’ physician shortage physicians should not be dissuaded from practicing in the state. This bill would be improved by specifying that a cause of action may only be pursued in a case of intentional gross negligence or intentional omission, otherwise limiting frivolous lawsuits is supportive of our limited government and personal responsibility principles.

Organizations Supporting

Christian Life Commission
Texas Alliance for Life
Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops

Organizations Opposed

American Civil Liberties Union of Texas
League of Women Voters of Texas
NARAL ProChoice Texas
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health