SENATE, No. 3328

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 3, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  KRISTIN M. CORRADO

District 40 (Bergen, Essex and Passaic)

Senator  NICHOLAS P. SCUTARI

District 22 (Somerset and Union)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator McKnight

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes crime of fertility fraud.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning fertility fraud, amending N.J.S.2C:1-6, and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section)  a.  As used in this section:

     “Assisted reproduction” means medical procedures to facilitate human reproduction that involve human gametes or pre-embryos including, but not limited to, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, embryo transfers, and similar procedures.

     “Gamete” means sperm or egg.

     “Health care practitioner” means any individual who is licensed or certified to provide health care services pursuant to Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

     “Human reproductive material” means human gametes or pre-embryos.

     b.    A person commits the crime of fertility fraud if the person is a health care practitioner and knowingly performs an assisted reproduction treatment on a patient that results in a pregnancy using:

     (1)   the person’s own human reproductive material without the written informed consent of the patient; or

     (2)   the human reproductive material of another person without the written informed consent of the patient.

     c.     Fertility fraud is a crime of the third degree.  In addition to any other penalty imposed for a violation of this section, the court shall order the permanent revocation of any license or certification related to the provision of health care services held by the health care practitioner. 

 

     2.    N.J.S.2C:1-6 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:1-6.  Time Limitations.  a.  (1)  A prosecution for any offense set forth in N.J.S.2C:11-3, N.J.S.2C:11-4, N.J.S.2C:14-2 or sections 1 through 5 of P.L.2002, c.26 (C.2C:38-1 through C.2C:38-5) may be commenced at any time.

     (2)   A prosecution for any offense set forth in N.J.S.2C:17-2, section 9 of P.L.1970, c.39 (C.13:1E-9), section 20 of P.L.1989, c.34 (C.13:1E-48.20), section 19 of P.L.1954, c.212 (C.26:2C-19), section 10 of P.L.1984, c.173 (C.34:5A-41), or section 10 of P.L.1977, c.74 (C.58:10A-10) may be commenced at any time.

     b.    Except as otherwise provided in this section, prosecutions for other offenses are subject to the following periods of limitations:

     (1)   A prosecution for a crime [must] shall be commenced within five years after it is committed;

     (2)   A prosecution for a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense [must] shall be commenced within one year after it is committed;

     (3)   A prosecution for any offense set forth in N.J.S.2C:27-2, N.J.S.2C:27-4, N.J.S.2C:27-6, N.J.S.2C:27-7, N.J.S.2C:29-4, N.J.S.2C:30-2, N.J.S.2C:30-3, or any attempt or conspiracy to commit such an offense, [must] shall be commenced within seven years after the commission of the offense;

     (4)   A prosecution for an offense set forth in N.J.S.2C:14-3 or N.J.S.2C:24-4, when the victim at the time of the offense is below the age of 18 years, [must] shall be commenced within five years of the victim's attaining the age of 18 or within two years of the discovery of the offense by the victim, whichever is later;

     (5)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2007, c.131); and

     (6)   A prosecution for an offense set forth in section 1 of P.L.     , c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) shall be commenced within 20 years of the commission of the offense or within 10 years of the discovery of the offense by the victim.

     c.     An offense is committed either when every element occurs or, if a legislative purpose to prohibit a continuing course of conduct plainly appears, at the time when the course of conduct or the defendant's complicity therein is terminated.  Time starts to run on the day after the offense is committed, except that when the prosecution is supported by physical evidence that identifies the actor by means of DNA testing or fingerprint analysis, time does not start to run until the State is in possession of both the physical evidence and the DNA or fingerprint evidence necessary to establish the identification of the actor by means of comparison to the physical evidence.

     d.    A prosecution is commenced for a crime when an indictment is found and for a nonindictable offense when a warrant or other process is issued, provided that such warrant or process is executed without unreasonable delay. Nothing contained in this section, however, shall be deemed to prohibit the downgrading of an offense at any time if the prosecution of the greater offense was commenced within the statute of limitations applicable to the greater offense.

     e.     The period of limitation does not run during any time when a prosecution against the accused for the same conduct is pending in this State.

     f.     The limitations in this section shall not apply to any person fleeing from justice.

     g.    Except as otherwise provided in this code, no civil action shall be brought pursuant to this code more than five years after such action accrues.

(cf: P.L.2007, c.131, s.1)

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

      The bill establishes the crime of fertility fraud. Under the bill, a person commits fertility fraud if the person is a health care practitioner and knowingly performs an assisted reproduction treatment on a patient that results in a pregnancy using the person’s own human reproductive material without the written informed consent of the patient, or using the human reproductive material of another person without the written informed consent of the patient. 

      Fertility fraud is a crime of the third degree. A crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.

      The bill also requires the court to order the permanent revocation of any license or certification related to the provision of health care services that is held by the defendant.

      Under the bill, a prosecution for fertility fraud is required to be commenced within 20 years of the date the assisted reproduction treatment was conducted, or within 10 years of the date that the victim became aware that the crime occurred.