After press time, NUVO received the the following statement from Indiana State Senator Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis) regarding possible assisted reproduction technology legislation:
"The issue has become more complex than anticipated and will be withdrawn from consideration by the Health Finance Commission."
Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse." According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother through assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation and egg donation must first file for a "petition for parentage" in their local county probate court.
Only women who are married will be considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the "gestational certificate" will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.
As the draft of the new law reads now, an intended parent "who knowingly or willingly participates in an artificial reproduction procedure" without court approval, "commits unauthorized reproduction, a Class B misdemeanor." The criminal charges will be the same for physicians who commit "unauthorized practice of artificial reproduction."
The change in Indiana law to require marriage as a condition for motherhood and criminalizing "unauthorized reproduction" was introduced at a summer meeting of the Indiana General Assembly's Health Finance Commission on Sept. 29 and a final version of the bill will come up for a vote at the next meeting at the end of this month.
Republican Sen. Patricia Miller is both the Health Finance Commission chair and the sponsor of the bill. She believes the new law will protect children in the state of Indiana and make parenting laws more explicit.
According to Miller, the laws prohibiting surrogacy in the state of Indiana are currently too vague and unenforceable, and that is the purpose of the new legislation.
"But it's not just surrogacy," Miller told NUVO. "The law is vague on all types of extraordinary types of infertility treatment, and we wanted to address that as well.
"Ordinary treatment would be the mother's egg and the father's sperm. But now there are a lot of extraordinary things that raise issues of who has legal rights as parents," she explained when asked what she considers "extraordinary" infertility treatment.
Miller believes the requirement of marriage for parenting is for the benefit of the children that result from infertility treatments.
"We did want to address the issue of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies have shown that a child raised by both parents - a mother and a father - do better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children," she explained.
When asked specifically if she believes marriage should be a requirement for motherhood, and if that is part of the bill's intention, Miller responded, "Yes. Yes, I do."
The current draft of the legislation is available on the Health Finance Commission Web site at:
The next meeting of the Health Finance Commission will be held at the Statehouse on Oct. 20, 2005, at 10 a.m. in Senate Chambers and is open to the public.
To express your support or opposition of legislation making "unauthorized reproduction" a criminal act, contact members of the Health Finance Commission by telephone or e-mail:
Sen. Patricia Miller (R) 232-9489 firstname.lastname@example.orgSen. Gregory Server (R) 232-9490 email@example.comSen. Gary Dillon (R) 232-9808 firstname.lastname@example.orgSen. Beverly Gard (R) 232-9493 email@example.comSen. Ryan Mishler (R) 233-0930 firstname.lastname@example.orgSen. Connie Lawson (R) 232-9984 email@example.comSen. Marvin Riegsecker (R) 232-9488 firstname.lastname@example.orgSen. Billie Breaux (D) 232-9849 email@example.comSen. Vi Simpson (D) 232-9849 firstname.lastname@example.orgSen. Connie Sipes (D) 232-9526 email@example.comSen. Timothy Skinner (D) 232-9523 firstname.lastname@example.orgRep. Vaneta Becker (R) 232-9769 email@example.comRep. Robert Behning (R) 232-9981 firstname.lastname@example.orgRep. Timothy Brown (R) 234-3825 email@example.comRep. Mary Kay Budak (R) 232-9641 firstname.lastname@example.orgRep. David Frizzell (R) 232-9981 email@example.comRep. Donald Lehe (R) 232-9648 firstname.lastname@example.orgRep. Richard Dodge (R) 232-9729 email@example.comRep. Charlie Brown (D) 232-9676 firstname.lastname@example.orgRep. David Orentlicher (D) 232-9991 email@example.comRep. Craig Fry (D) 232-9994 firstname.lastname@example.orgRep. Carolene Mays (D) 232-0243 email@example.comRep. Scott Reske (D) 232-9695 firstname.lastname@example.org