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Indiana Senate sends sperm-misuse legislation to governor

April 16, 2019

The case of an Indiana fertility doctor who used his own sperm to impregnate perhaps dozens of women has led to state lawmakers to pass legislation that would make such actions a felony crime in the future.

The Indiana Senate gave final approval Tuesday to a bill allowing felony charges in cases of deception involving human sperm, eggs or embryos. The bill passed the House unanimously earlier this month. The legislation heads to Gov. Eric Holcomb, who can sign it, veto it or let it pass into law without his signature.

Some men and women whose mothers were unknowingly impregnated by Dr. Donald Cline in the 1970s and 1980s spoke out for the bill after prosecutors said no state law explicitly prohibited such actions. Cline received a one-year suspended sentence on charges of lying to investigators and surrendered his medical license.

Bill advocates say DNA tests show Cline likely fathered at least 46 children born to his patients.<

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