Woman sues clinic for ‘wrongful life’ after birth control shot swapped for flu shot resulted in pregnancy

Yesenia Pacheco Wrongful Life Lawsuit

When Seattle woman Yesenia Pacheco went to get her regular birth control shot at a clinic in late 2011, she was shocked to learn that not only did the clinic swap her last round for a flu shot, but that she was pregnant as well.

“I asked what happened,” Yesenia told KIRO this month. “They said you are 2 1/2 months pregnant. You don’t have to have it. You won’t have to pay anything.”

Yesenia said getting an abortion is against her beliefs, so she went through with the difficult pregnancy. Her daughter was born with unilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria, a brain malformation that affects her motor and speech skills. Yesenia and her husband now have to give the 3-year-old medications twice per day to prevent seizures. She said, “It’s hard. I already have two girls. I didn’t want any more.”

Now, Yesenia is suing the federal government–which funds the clinic–for “wrongful life.” Her attorneys argued that the pregnancy was “a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s negligent acts and/or omissions to perform the medical care with due care.” Yesenia is seeking unspecified damages for medical bills and pain and suffering.

The case is unique because wrongful life lawsuits are typically against facilities or professionals that fail to disclose birth defects during pregnancy.

In a statement last week, a spokesperson from clinic said they “are aware of the situation” and “feel great empathy for her.” However, Yesinia, who speaks Spanish, said they never expressed that to her. Instead, when she first complained about the situation to people at the clinic, she said they blamed it on the language barrier (which hadn’t been a problem during her previous visits) and accused her of trying to get people fired.

The U.S. Department of Justice has not yet to responded to the case.

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