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Montana woman sues, says she would have aborted daughter with cystic fibrosis

Kerrie Evans of Gardiner, Montana, has filed a $14.5 million lawsuit against Park Clinic in Livingston, Billings Clinic’s Bozeman OB/GYN, nurse practitioner Peggy Scanson, and Dr. William Peters, arguing that she would have gotten an abortion if they had diagnosed her six-year-old daughter’s severe cystic fibrosis in utero.

Evans and her husband contend they were concerned about cystic fibrosis going into the pregnancy and planned to abort if a blood test showed the disease, and because they did not they now face $300,000 yearly medical bills for her.

In response, the defendants claim that Evans only discussed Down Syndrome with them during pregnancy and failed to either fully read the information they provided her or request a cystic fibrosis test. Therefore, they maintain, that they did meet their obligation to provide informed consent.

They further noted that “wrongful birth” is not recognized as a legal cause of action in Montana, meaning that the suit “would set a dangerous precedent.” However, District Judge Mike Salvagni rejected their motion to dismiss, deciding the suit was unlikely to invite a flood of similar claims.

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