INDIANAPOLIS — The story of former fertility doctor Donald Cline has inspired one congresswoman to push for a federal law against fertility fraud.
Congresswoman Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma is one of the co-sponsors of The Protecting Families from Fertility Fraud Act of 2022 bill.
She says she was prompted to action after watching the Netflix documentary “Our Father” about Dr. Cline. The documentary chronicles the discovery of Cline secretly fathering at least 94 children, mostly in central Indiana, while treating their mothers at his Indianapolis fertility clinic.
Cline was never prosecuted by the state of Indiana for the fertility fraud, basically because there was no law against it at the time. (A law was later passed in 2019.)
Congresswoman Bice wants to criminalize fertility fraud on a federal level.
She says she felt a range of emotions after watching “Our Father.”
“My first impressions were rage, anger and really sadness for these families. They’ve been deceived for decades.”
Bice spoke to Jacoba Ballard, the first of Dr. Cline’s donor children to bring his actions to light when she shared her story with FOX59’s Angela Ganote in 2015. She was part of a Zoom call with Ballard and three other donor children just days after watching the documentary.
“I listened to their stories,” Bice explained. “I want to make sure this never happens to another family or families.”
The bill would make fraud fertility punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
It’s been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.