LANSING, Mich., March 3, 2022 — This morning, the Michigan House Committee on Health Policy voted out trail-blazing legislation to bring justice to victims of assisted reproduction fraud, the knowing provision of false information or the use of gametes not expressly agreed to by a patient in the reproduction process. State Rep. Karen Whitsett’s (D-Detroit) bill, House Bill 5713, is one of five in the bipartisan package led by state Rep. John Roth (R-Traverse City) that passed through the committee today.
Together, the set of bills work to provide a path for legal recourse to victims of assisted reproduction fraud through various measures. The bills include proposals to allow for civil liability in instances of false representation in assisted reproduction, establish a 15-year lookback time frame for criminal charges based on the offense or when an individual is identified through DNA, and provide investigatory powers to the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Finally, the legislation makes it a third-degree sexual conduct felony for any health professional to knowingly use their reproductive material for assisted reproduction procedures without patient consent.
“This package being voted out of the Health Policy Committee is a huge step toward justice for individuals who have been affected by assisted reproduction fraud,” Whitsett said. “I’m proud of what we’ve done today, and I will continue working with my colleagues to get these bills to the House Floor.”
The bill package has now been referred to the House Judiciary Committee where it will have another hearing before moving forward.