Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Holy shit!

Indiana bill would limit reproduction procedures for gays, singles

Panel to make recommendation to Legislature on Oct. 20


An interim legislative committee is considering a bill that would prohibit gays, lesbians and single people in Indiana from using medical science to assist them in having a child. State Sen. Patricia Miller acknowledged that the legislation before her panel would be 'enormously controversial.' Sen. Patricia Miller (R-Indianapolis) said state law does not have regulations on assisted reproduction and should have similar requirements to adoption in Indiana."If were 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."Miller acknowledged that the legislation would be "enormously controversial.""Our statutes are nearly silent on all this. You can think of guidelines, but when you put it on paper it becomes different," she told The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne for a story Tuesday.Miller is chairwoman of the Health Finance Commission, a panel of lawmakers that will vote Oct. 20 on whether to recommend the legislation to the full General Assembly.The bill 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.It then requires "intended parents" to be married to each other and says an unmarried person may not be an intended parent.A doctor cannot begin an assisted reproduction technology procedure that may result in a child being born until the intended parents have received a certificate of satisfactory completion of an assessment required under the bill. The assessment is similar to what is required for infant adoption and would be conducted by a licensed child placing agency in Indiana.The required information includes the fertility history of the parents, education and employment information, personality descriptions, verification of marital status, child care plans and criminal history checks. Description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents also is required, including 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 clarified 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, for example, 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.Ken Falk, legal director for the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, said his office began hearing about the bill Friday, a day after the rough draft was discussed by the Health Finance Commission.He said it sets up a clear discrimination that would be difficult to uphold in court, and 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 do not have a partner but have undertaken being a parent," Falk said.Miller said the state often reacted to problems and that she wanted 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 acknowledged such a law would bar 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


Care said...

Isn't that insane?! Fortunately Sen Miller dropped the bill. She will still get my letter telling her exactly what I think of her proposed legistlation. Argh!!!!!! ~CarolynG, SMC and proud of it

Heather said...

I was very happy to hear that they dropped this bill. I'd like Sen Miller to step out of the 1950s, or maybe thats the 1880s????

If she's so concerned about a child having a married heterosexual parents, why doesn't she go work on outlawing divorce if there are children involved. Maybe that'll keep her busy!

amymrsr said...

OMG!! hideous

lauralu said...

she must be mad! what other group of would-be parents must go through anything like this???perhaps she'd like teenagers to register before they get in a car together...just in case. or drug addicts generally. or me and my husband. why not us? we have dirty dishes in the sink currently that have been there since sunday - salmonella has probably taken over our kitchen! a threat to white, christian, heterosexually-parented children everywhere! i'm getting carried away, but this whole business is just so dumb - this legislator got carried away, too, with her own stupidity.

in my experience, people who try to legislate other people's personal lives have shitty, failed personal lives of their own. i bet ms miller's kids hate her.

lauralu said...

btw, thanks for your kind comments on our blog. here's hoping we both get to bring home our kids someday soon.

Shelli said...

Thanks for your comment, Lauralu. it hit the nail RIGHT on the head!