Arizona governor signs online dating, fertility fraud bills

March 24, 2021 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation that allows lawsuits against a fertility doctor for secretly using their own sperm or ovum to impregnate a woman.

The Republican governor also signed another bill requiring online dating services to inform members if they have been in contact with a member who has been banned for fraud.

The proposals were among 37 bills the Republican governor signed into law Wednesday, including three Ducey called “responsible” criminal justice reform.

GOP Sen. Nancy Barto of Phoenix sponsored the bill allowing a woman, her husband or their child to sue a health care provider who used their own sperm or ovum to impregnate a woman without written consent. She cited instances where a family later found out their health provider had secretly used their own sperm to create fertilized eggs.

A criminal provision was stripped out of SB1237 in committee.

Republican Rep. Regina Cobb of Kingman sponsored the new law that requires online dating services to inform members if someone they had contact with was banned for fraud. HB2396 requires the notice to be sent by mail or email but does not create a new avenue for lawsuits.

The criminal justice reform measures include a version of a bill that failed in recent years to limit the use of enhancements as a repetitive offender for a series of crimes committed in series or prosecuted as one case. Advocates argued that an offender could get much stiffer sentences for a series of burglaries, for example, because prosecutors used the previous statute to seek stiff sentences intended for repeat offenders.

The bill, HB2318, allows a mid-level sentencing enhancement rather than a top-level one.

Another bill Ducey signed bars state agencies from denying an occupational license to a convicted drug offender. Teachers and some health professionals are exempted from the provisions of HB2319. A third bill requires state and local agencies to send data on criminal justice matters to a state commission so a statewide assessment is available.