LEGISLATIVE NEWS: Senate passes bill strengthening protections against assisted reproduction fraud

OLYMPIA – House Bill 1300, aimed at shielding individuals and families from the harm caused by deceptive and appalling practices in assisted reproduction procedures, passed the state Senate today. Introduced by Representative Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines), the bill garnered bipartisan support thanks to its comprehensive approach to preventing and rectifying such violations.

Recognizing the inherent power imbalance within the doctor-patient relationship, the bill empowers patients to take recourse against healthcare providers who exploit their trust by implanting their own gametes or reproductive material.

By widening the scope of the Uniform Disciplinary Act, any licensee found to have implanted their reproductive material will face potential professional sanctions and license revocation. This provision adds a layer of accountability, deterring misconduct and protecting patient rights.

The Senate amended the bill to include a provision clarifying definitions for assault. In addition to penalties under the Uniform Disciplinary Act, the amendment denotes that it is assault in the third degree for a licensed health care provider to implant or cause another to implant the provider’s own gametes or reproductive material into a patient during an assisted reproduction procedure.

This bill is about safety and justice,” said Rep. Orwall. “It cracks down on fertility fraud while safeguarding families from this devastating crime.”

“The terrible revelations of the past year have made it clear we can’t rely on existing legal measures to protect families from the pain that fertility fraud causes,” said Sen. Derek Stanford (D-Bothell), who sponsored companion legislation in the Senate. “I’m pleased we have been able to make progress this year, and I believe we have the momentum to continue that work in the future.”

Substitute House Bill 1300 now heads to the House for concurrence before going to the Governor for his signature and enactment.