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Picked up for various sources, namely from an AP wire report and a story at the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. A proposed bill in Indiana would require women to have a license to undergo medically assisted fertalization. Unmarried women, gays and lesbians would be banned from using such treatement. Only married couples would be allowed to be licensed as "intended parents."

Article from Fort Wayne Journal Gazette on the flip.

State bill would limit procreation assistance Process would rule out homosexuals, singles

By Niki Kelly
The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Gays, lesbians and single Hoosiers would be prohibited from using medical science to help have a child under a bill being considered by an interim legislative committee.

The legislation puts Indiana in the middle of a national battle over reproductive rights and promises to be contentious.

“If we’re going to try to put Indiana on the map, I wouldn’t go this route,” said Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana. “It feels pretty chilling. It is governmental intrusion into a very private part of our lives.”

But Sen. Pat Miller, R-Indianapolis, said Indiana law currently has no regulations regarding assisted reproduction and should have similar requirements to adoption in Indiana.

“Needless to say it’s going to be enormously controversial and difficult,” she said. “Our statutes are nearly silent on all this. You can think of guidelines, but when you put it on paper it becomes different.”

Miller chairs the Health Finance Commission – a panel of lawmakers that will vote Oct. 20 on whether to recommend the legislation to the full General Assembly.

A “no” vote doesn’t preclude it from being offered in the 2006 legislative short session, which starts in January. A “yes” vote does not ensure its passage.

There are two parts to the draft legislation – the first dealing with some irregularities in central Indiana regarding surrogacy and adoptions. But the part of the bill raising eyebrows involves assisted reproduction.

It defines assisted reproduction as causing pregnancy by means other than sexual intercourse, including intrauterine insemination, donation of an egg, donation of an embryo, in vitro fertilization and transfer of an embryo, and sperm injection.

The bill then requires “intended parents” to be married to each other and specifically says an unmarried person may not be an intended parent.

A doctor can’t begin an assisted reproduction technology procedure that may result in a child’s being born until the intended parents of the child have received a certificate of satisfactory completion of an assessment required under the bill.

The assessment is very similar to what is required for infant adoption and would be conducted by a licensed child placing agency in Indiana.

Some of the required information includes the fertility history of the parents, education and employment information, hobbies, personality descriptions, verification of marital status, child care plans, letter of reference and criminal history checks.

A description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents is also required, including individual participation in faith-based or church activities.

The legislation appears to affect some married couples, although the rough draft is unclear at times. Miller said the draft will be cleaned up before a vote.

The bill does not apply to assisted reproduction in which the child is the genetic child of both of the intended parents – i.e., the sperm is from the father and the egg is from the mother.

But married couples that need one or the other would still have to go through an assessment process and establish parentage in a court.

A judge couldn’t establish parentage of a child born through assisted reproduction without the assessment certificate and a separate certificate from the physician involved.

A court would also be prohibited from granting a petition to establish parentage if the parents have been convicted of several specific crimes listed, such as murder, reckless homicide and neglect of a dependent.

Others include felony battery, arson and any felony drug conviction, although if the offense were committed more than five years before the petition, the judge could choose to grant the petition.

The bill would also establish criminal penalties for those participating in artificial reproductive procedures without following the process. The maximum charge is a misdemeanor.

Indiana Civil Liberties Union Attorney Ken Falk said his office began hearing about the bill Friday – one day after the rough draft was discussed by the Health Finance Commission.

He has not read it fully but said it sets up a clear discrimination that would be difficult to uphold. He considers the bill to be unique nationally.

“My question is ‘What is the danger that we are legislating against?’ Are we saying that only married persons should be able to be parents, which is certainly a slap in the face to many same-sex couples but also to many who don’t have a partner but have undertaken being a parent,” he said.

Miller said the state often reacts to problems and she instead wants to be proactive on this issue.

“We’re not trying to stop people from having kids; we’re just trying to find some guidelines,” she said.

She did concede it would stop single people from using methods other than sexual intercourse but said “all the studies indicate the best environment for a child is to have a two-parent family – a mother and a father.”

Sen. Gary Dillon, R-Pierceton, is a member on the commission and said parts of the legislation have valid points. He does have some “reservations” about limiting the reproductive rights of single people but quoted the same studies as Miller about the health of a child in two-parent homes.

“There’s a concern that there’s no regulation over this whole industry,” he said.

Cockrum said this type of bill is the reason citizens are so worried that Roe v. Wade will be overturned at the national level.

“If we can’t decide when to terminate a pregnancy some worry that government could tell us when we can choose to be pregnant,” she said. “The questions get trickier by the day.”

She said this bill shows a “pursuit of legislative values becoming a part of our daily lives even more so than they already are.”

Cockrum believes, though, that the bill has a slim chance at passing – especially in a short session and during an election year where many lawmakers want to avoid controversial votes.

Chilling indeed, I suppose the state would rather women find a random partner to get pregnant with, if they are not married but want children? This is a ridiculous law, which hopefully won't make it out of committee, even in Indiana.

If you're from Indiana, (I'm not), contact your reps and whatnot, maybe we can nip this in the bud before it gains any kind of steam.

Originally posted to davestroup on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 10:32 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How the hell is this not (none)
    discrimination? I don't think this could pass as constitutional...isn't this a medical practice?
    •  It won't fly. (none)
      It's gibberish from the party of Bush in a volitile political arena.....the same arena that gave us Dan Quayle, and a legislature that passed a resolution redefining the value of pi, a school district that comdemned The Diary of Ann Franke for "having a poor view of rightful authority." (Kokomo, the famous city of the Ryan White affair.)

      "same old fears, same old crimes-we haven't changed since ancient times.." "Iron Hand" Dire Straits

      by boilerman10 on Wed Oct 05, 2005 at 06:38:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd ask Bayh for his take on the bill. (none)
    He's the guy who co-sponsored the "Healthy Marriage Act" with Santorum.  (Another piece of crap that, luckily, never made it to a vote.)

    Harriet Miers wore a blue dress in the Oval Office. Just sayin'...

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 10:35:34 PM PDT

  •  This (none)
    is totally unconstitutional. It would never survive a court challege, let the wingnuts pass it and make an embarrasment of themselves.
  •  Is Indiana (none)
    a province of China, or something?  When did it become an American value to tell people who can and can't get pregnant?

    What I'm curious about is who wrote this bill.  In other words, did some Indiana legislator write it themselves, or is there some "pro-family" group going around trying to get it passed in every red state they can find?

    As a sensible Midwesterner myself, Indiana puzzles me because all too often it acts like the capital of Wingnuttia.  This is supposed to be the heartland.

    •  Also, how is this "conservative"? (none)
      I thought that conservatives believed in limited government.  The government telling people they can't reproduce is extreme authoritarianism.  Maybe "authoritarian" just another definition of "conservative".

      The government has no business telling people they can't reproduce.  If artificial insemination is banned for non-married couples, what's next?  Would they ban non-married couples from using the old fashioned method of insemination? (On a snarky note, that might make being a sperm donor more interesting) Once the government has the authority to tell you how you can reproduce, where does it end?

  •  This is so wrong (none)
    On so many levels, that it can't be constitutional.  Who the fuck are these people to tell who can and can not procreate?  

    Felons?  Like a person can not turn around and change his/her life?  Could you imagine getting married and finding out later that you can't have children without fertility treatments only to be faced with the felonious past of your partner?  That's such incredible bullshit.  Like we're supposed to believe that some wingnut judge isn't going to hold someone's past against them.  Unless of course, they're Republicans and white.

    Single-parents?  I know so many people who are single parents because they haven't found someone to marry, or just don't want to marry, but they are rockin' parents.  

    This piece of crap legislation would do nothing but discriminate againt the poor, single, LBGT and non-white communities.  Why don't they just set up clinics for rich white families-to-be  and just be done with it?

  •  fucked up n/t (none)
  •  Indiana just the start (none)
    I think we'll see this proposed in a lot of states, and it may pass in many of them.
  •  oy (none)
    Coming next...marriage required to receive a prescription for birth control pills, condoms, other forms of birth control? bad here, birth control is against the teachings of the church so maybe they'll just outlaw that too?

    Don't point your finger in judgement of others because the other three will be pointing back at you.

    by tvb on Wed Oct 05, 2005 at 12:36:46 AM PDT

  •  The State Legislative Session... (none)
    Doesn't start until January, so there's no immediate danger.

    I'm thinking this is a real longshot to pass.  Seems like this State Senator in question is a real wingnut.

    The Pubs have a very small majority in the State House (only a couple seats) so they definitely don't have the votes for this, nor is this something Mitch Daniels would want on his resume.

  •  Most Assureadly descriminatory... (none)
    However depending on who is sitting on the SC, might be constitutional... :-(
  •  irony (none)
    the irony is that they're claiming this will help ensure children are born into healthy happy blah blah blah homes.  They somehow think that a single woman or gay couple who have put tremendous thought and financial resources into getting pregnant will be terrible parents and raise a damaged child, while some screwed up seventeen year old in a shotgun marriage will of course make a wonderful parent, since as we all know, the only thing that makes for healthy children is a married mommy and daddy in the home...
  •  By that wording... (none)
    You can't even donate sperm.

    This is beyond the scope of any of the Social Regulators reach. Real "conservatives" (you know the one's they call RINOS) need to do some serious house cleaning.

    "Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" ~Nipsey Russell

    by RANT on Wed Oct 05, 2005 at 04:59:02 AM PDT

  •  Okay, I don't get it. (none)
    I need a political geography lesson, here. Or maybe it's religious geography. Or history... or something.

    The only experience I've had of Indiana is driving through the extreme northern edge, on Hwy 80. That part of the state looked very similar to other northern states -- about like Illinois, for instance. From the map, you'd think Indianapolis ought to be a major metropolitan city, not all that far from Chicago.

    So why... why does Indiana keep cropping up in the news with this sort of weirdness which I would otherwise only expect to see in the South? How did it get to be, apparently, part of the Bible Belt? I do know that in the 1920s, the KKK made great inroads there, not on just race, but on religious prejudice, especially anti-Catholicism.

    Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

    by Canadian Reader on Wed Oct 05, 2005 at 06:26:56 AM PDT

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