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Fertility fraud is not a crime in Colorado, but it could be soon

In the wake of a startling lawsuit against a Grand Junction doctor accused of using his own sperm to impregnate his patients, one state lawmaker is pushing for legislation that would tighten the law surrounding fertility fraud.

Rep. Kerry Tipper, a Democrat from Lakewood, told The Denver Post on Thursday that she has been talking to victims, experts and legislators across the aisle about making it a crime for a fertility doctor to inseminate his own sperm into a patient without her consent.

RELATED: A Grand Junction doctor is accused of using his own sperm to impregnate patients

Only three states — Indiana, California and Texas — currently have specific fertility fraud laws. And the severity varies widely, from classifying the misdeed as sexual assault (like in Texas) to giving victims the right to sue doctors for using the wrong sperm (like in Indiana).

Tipper said she’s looking at all three states for guidance as she determines where her bill may fit in.

“For criminal liability, where in this statue does it belong?” she said, highlighting some of the questions still being discussed. “Is it fraud? Is it a sex crime? Something entirely different? All this matters for a lot of reasons.”

The push for legislation was accelerated by a lawsuit filed Monday in Mesa County District Court, in which a Texas family alleged that an 80-year-old fertility doctor on the Western Slope inseminated a woman seven times with his own sperm in place of anonymous donor sperm.

At least nine other individuals claim that DNA tests show they are all related to Dr. Paul B. Jones, including one Denver-area woman who plans to also file suit against the doctor. Jones, who maintains an active Colorado medical license, declined comment to The Denver Post on Tuesday, but previously told 9News: “I don’t deny it. I don’t admit it.”

Tipper, who holds a law degree, has been working on this issue since July, learning about the scope of the problem from various articles. She then met with a victim, opening her eyes to the impact the deceit could have.

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“When you meet with a person, you see how complicated the pain is,” Tipper said. “From one day to the next, your whole idea of who you are is called into question.”

The Lakewood Democrat …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

      

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