Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Where's the Rational Basis? 

Hopefully it won't even get out of committee, but a bill currently in the Health Finance Commission of the Indiana General Assembly would severely limit access to reproductive technology and to court-determined establishment of parenthood. Among the requirements a woman seeking such technology as artificial insemination are:
  • Marriage to a person of the opposite sex
  • Proof of participation in church or faith-based activities
A court being asked to establish parentage of a child born through reproductive technology would require the assessment certificate and another certificate from the physician, stating that the woman met the requirements.

No parentage could be established in court to a parent who had been convicted of such crimes as:
  • Murder
  • Reckless homicide
  • Neglect of a dependent
  • Felony battery
  • Drug offense
Now I'm merely a constitutional scholar in the making, but I'm pretty sure most of these requirements would be an infringement on a fundamental right, and could be fairly easily shown to be in conflict with established case law. This isn't a case of the state refusing to fund access to technology - it's a flat-out bar on access.

Senator Patricia Miller, chair of the Health Finance Commission, supports the bill. I've been trying to locate the full text of the bill, but have not been successful. I'll give it another go tomorrow, but for now I'll have to rely on the news article. (UPDATE: Here's the link to HFC004, courtesy of Chaotic Goodnik)

A separate bill (HB1684) authored by Rep. Van Haaften would require the state, group health insurance plans and HMOs to fund diagnosis and treatment for infertility, for the birth of one child, including use of artificial insemination. No restrictions appear on that bill.
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UPDATE (10/6/05): "The issue has become more complex than anticipated and will be withdrawn from consideration by the Health Finance Commission," she said.

State Sen. Patricia Miller's entire statement regarding dropping the proposed bill.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:46 PM