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10/05/2005

Holy smoking monkeys, what the hell is this?

In Muncie, you may not carry fishing tackle in a cemetery.

In Gary, you may not enter a movie house or a theater within four hours of eating garlic.

In Warsaw, you may not throw an old computer across the street at your neighbor.

If you happen to be a monkey in South Bend, you are forbidden by law to smoke a cigarette.

And if Indiana State Senator Patricia Miller gets her way, if you have the misfortune to be infertile in Indiana, you'll soon be well and truly screwed.

Miller, seen here in her official photo, proposes to regulate assisted reproduction in Indiana. The bill she's drafted (PDF) requires ART patients — "intended parents" — who are availing themselves of donor gametes or the offices of a surrogate to undergo a thorough screening to evaluate their fitness to be parents.

That's right: before you attempted IUI or IVF with third-party involvement, you'd have to petition the state for approval, just as adoptive parents must — "Before intended parents may commence assisted reproduction, the intended parents shall obtain an assessment from a licensed child placing agency [...]. The assessment must follow the normal practice for assessments in a domestic infant adoption."

And single people, according to the draft, need not apply — "an unmarried person may not be an intended parent." This obviously excludes gays and lesbians as well.

The information you (and by that I mean "the straight and married you") would be required to furnish would include, but would not be limited to:

  • Personal information about your values;
  • A physical description;
  • Statement of income;
  • A "verification and evaluation of the intended parents' marital relationship";
  • A description of the "family lifestyle" of the intended parents, including a description of individual participation in faith-based or church activities;
  • A letter of reference by a friend or family member; and
  • A statement of "the intended parents' purpose for the assisted reproduction."

(I am assuming "For the sweet, sweet high of fentanyl" is not an acceptable answer to that last.)

It gets worse. According to the draft, "intended parents" may not compensate donors, nor may you work with a surrogate who has no prior pregnancy history.

Scared yet? I am.

I don't live in Indiana because my monkey gets a little wiggy if he doesn't get his Camels, but I'm not above haranguing the elected representatives of those who do. Won't you join me?

It's important.

A tip of the retroverted uterus to Akeeyu, Paty, Kathy, Susan, and intelligent others commenting on this issue.

Update: Miller's proposed bill has been withdrawn — apparently the issue is "more complex than anticipated."

Must have been all those old computers people were throwing across the street at her. Hey, Patricia: the UNIVAC was from me.

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