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The Latest: Senator argues fertility fraud law isn’t needed

January 23, 2019
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Sen. Michael Young, left, R-Indianapolis, speaks with Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, during a committee hearing at the Statehouse, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, Indianapolis. The committee heard testimony on a bill creating a felony charge of fertility fraud for doctors using their own sperm or eggs without the patient's consent. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on Indiana Legislature’s action on fertility fraud bill (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

A state senator says he believes Indiana law already allows criminal charges against the fertility doctor who authorities say used his own sperm to impregnate perhaps dozens of women.

A Senate committee went along Wednesday with the request from Republican Sen. Mike Young of Indianapolis to remove from a bill the section creating a felony charge of fertility fraud for doctors using their own sperm or eggs without the patient’s consent. The proposal would now only specifically give the mothers and children the right to file lawsuits in such cases.

Marion County prosecutors said they were limited in charges against Dr. Donald Cline because state law doesn’t cover use of a doctor’s own sperm. Cline was given a one-year suspended sentence in 2017 after pleading guilty to charges that he lied to investigators.

While Young says the state’s fraud and deception laws are sufficient, some of those fathered by Cline maintain a specific criminal law is needed.

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10:45 a.m.

Some men and women whose mothers were unkowningly impregnated by their fertility doctor’s own sperm are upset that an Indiana legislative panel isn’t endorsing a proposed state law specifically against such actions.

A state Senate committee voted 7-3 Wednesday morning to strip from a bill the section creating a felony charge of fertility fraud for doctors using their own sperm or eggs without the patient’s consent. The proposal now only would specifically give the mothers and children the right to file lawsuits in such cases.

Marion County prosecutors said they were limited in charges against Dr. Donald Cline because state law doesn’t cover use of a doctor’s own sperm. Cline was given a one-year suspended sentence in 2017 after pleading guilty to obstructing justice.

The senator behind removing the criminal section didn’t immediately explain his reasoning. Other senators said they would seek to have it restored to the bill.

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7:20 a.m.

Some men and women whose mothers were unkowningly impregnated by their fertility doctor’s own sperm are calling for an Indiana law specifically against such actions.

A state Senate committee is scheduled to hear testimony Wednesday morning on a bill creating a felony charge of fertility fraud for doctors using their own sperm or eggs without the patient’s consent. The proposal would also give adult children more time to file lawsuits.

Marion County prosecutors said they were limited in charges against Dr. Donald Cline because state law doesn’t cover use of a doctor’s own sperm. Cline was given a one-year suspended sentence in 2017 after pleading guilty to obstructing justice.

Children of women Cline treated say DNA tests show he’s likely the biological father of at least 40 of them.

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