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33 S. C. L. Rev. 759 (1981-1982)
Wrongful Pregnancy

handle is hein.journals/sclr33 and id is 785 raw text is: WRONGFUL PREGNANCY
Wrongful pregnancy cases arise out of situations in which
the wrongful act of a third party, usually a physician or pharma-
cist, interfered with contraceptive or birth control measures
adopted or elected by the parents so that an unintended child
came into being. Either the pregnancy itself was unwanted or
there was no intent that a child should be born as a result of the
pregnancy. The complaint against a physician may arise out of
a failed sterilization procedure,2 an unsuccessful abortion,3 or a
negligent failure to diagnose pregnancy within the time when an
abortion could be obtained.4 The complaint against a pharmacist
may arise out of negligence in improperly filling a birth control
Wrongful pregnancy is a term that should be reserved for
denominating a very narrow group of cases that are frequently,
but erroneously, included in discussions of the so-called wrong-
ful life/wrongful birth body of case law.6 Although certain theo-
* Member, South Carolina Bar. B.A. 1973, University of South Carolina, J.D. 1979,
University of South Carolina.
1. Abortion is not generally accepted as a suitable method of routine birth control.
It must be considered a birth control measure, however, because it is the last alternative
available once other birth control methods have failed.
2. E.g., Anonymous v. Hospital, 35 Conn. Supp. 112, 398 A.2d 312 (Super. Ct. 1979);
Coleman v. Garrison, 349 A.2d 8 (Del. 1975); Sherlock v. Stillwater Clinic, 260 N.W.2d
169 (Minn. 1977); Pierce v. Piver, 45 N.C. App. 111, 262 S.E.2d 320 (1980); Baldwin v.
Sanders, 266 S.C. 394, 223 S.E.2d 602 (1976).
3. E.g., Stills v. Gratton, 55 Cal. App. 3d 698, 127 Cal. Rptr. 652 (1976); Wilczynski
v. Goodman, 73 IMI. App. 3d 51, 391 N.E.2d 479 (1979); Speck v. Finegold, 268 Pa. Super.
Ct. 342, 408 A.2d 496 (1979).
4. E.g., Clapham v. Yanga, 102 Mich. App. 47, 300 N.W.2d 727 (1980); Ziemba v.
Sternberg, 45 A.D.2d 230, 357 N.Y.S.2d 265 (1974); Rieck v. Medical Protective Co., 64
Wis. 2d 514, 219 N.W.2d 242 (1974).
5. Troppi v. Scarf, 31 Mich. App. 240, 187 N.W.2d 511 (1971). For a discussion of
several unreported trial court opinions involving situations in which something other
than the prescribed birth control pills were supplied, see MacKauf, Birth Control and
Malpractice, 10 TiMAL L.Q. 86 (1974); Note, Unwanted Pregnancy and the Pill-The
Question of Liability of the Manufacturer, 41 U. CIN. L. REv. 335 (1972).
6. In a rapidly expanding field of liability, one cannot expect terminology to be used


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