ND Legislature aims to make it illegal to wrongly inseminate someone

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Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 11:59 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Probably very few laws in North Dakota Century Code originated with Netflix documentaries. But pretty soon, there will be at least one.

Lawmakers advanced SB 1140, which would make it illegal to artificially inseminate someone using reproductive material from anyone other than the donor the recipient has consented to. The idea for the bill came from the Netflix documentary “Our Father.”

“Rather than use the donor or husband’s sperm, he used his own, and over time he fathered over 90 children. The investigation started in 2015, but the attorney general declined to prosecute because there wasn’t a law forbidding the doctor’s conduct,” said Senator Kent Weston, R-Sarles.

The bill would make such an act a Class C felony, carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison or a $10,000 fine. It passed unanimously.