"Texas House passes bill classifying fertility fraud as sexual assault" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
The Texas House passed a bill Thursday that would make it a crime for a fertility doctor to inseminate a patient without her consent.
Senate Bill 1259 by state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, seeks to make illegal the kind of situation that happened to Eve Wiley's family. Wiley, a licensed professional counselor from Dallas, told lawmakers her mother's infertility doctor artificially inseminated her mother with his own sperm instead of the donor her mother selected. (Update: The House unanimously approved the bill Friday. It now heads to the governor's office.)
“My mother’s fertility doctor choose to use his own sperm instead of the sperm donor my parents consented to and selected,” Wiley said in a House Criminal Jurisprudence committee hearing last month. “And he is my biological father, and it is not a crime in the state of Texas.”
Wiley's story garnered national attention after The Dallas Morning News reported her story and it was featured on ABC's "20/20" earlier this month.
The bill says doctors who perform procedures using reproductive material from a donor that the patient did not consent to can be charged with sexual assault. The Senate unanimously passed the bill.
State Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, introduced the bill on the House floor Thursday, saying the increasing access to DNA testing has led to a number of "daddy doctor" cases, in which fertility doctors used their own sperm instead of the donor selected by the patient.
Wiley, who testified in favor of the bill during both the Senate and House hearings, revealed the identity of the infertility doctor earlier this month, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The bill would set the statute of limitation for this type of sexual assault to two years from the date the offense was discovered. It also adds that if guilty, a doctor would be subject to a state jail felony with punishment between six months and two years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.
The bill requires a final vote from the House before it heads to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.