NewsPublic Affairs / March 25, 2019

Public Defenders Express Concerns Over Fertility Fraud Bill's Criminal Language

Indiana public defenders raised concerns in a House committee Monday about language in a bill that creates criminal and civil penalties for fertility fraud.2019 legislative session, fertility fraud2019-03-25T00:00:00-04:00
Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Public Defenders Express Concerns Over Fertility Fraud Bill's Criminal Language

A House committee will consider changes to a bill creating criminal and civil penalties for fertility fraud.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Indiana public defenders raised concerns in a House committee Monday about language in a bill that creates criminal and civil penalties for fertility fraud.

The committee opted to hold the bill for at least a week to work on that language.

The fertility fraud bill attempts to punish cases like that of Indiana physician Donald Cline, who used his own sperm – without his patients’ consent – to illegitimately father dozens of children. Matthew White is one of those children. He says patients just assume proper safeguards are in place.

“And that should someone, not to mention a medical doctor, knowingly inseminate unconsented reproductive material into a woman’s body, they will be held criminally and civilly accountable,” White says.

But Indiana Public Defender Council executive director Bernice Corley says the language creating a criminal penalty is too broad and could ensnare people it doesn’t mean to.

“So, if you have a woman that lies about the identity of the father of her child,” Corley says.

A House committee could consider changes to the bill as early as next week.

 

 

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