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By Terry Vanderheyden

SACRAMENTO, April 26, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A lawsuit filed by a California lesbian who lost an appeal against the doctors who refused to artificially inseminate her, charging that she was discriminated against because of the doctor’s religious beliefs, has reached the state’s Supreme Court.

Guadalupe Benitez, 33, sued doctors Christine Brody and Douglas Fenton and their North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group in San Diego for the alleged violation, after they refused her the procedure in 2000. The doctors said they were not comfortable with assisting her to become a parent because she was not married.

A California appeals court overturned an earlier trial court ruling in favour of Benitez in December, arguing that the two doctors could assert religious reasons in their defense. For reasons of conscience, the two doctors were unwilling to perform the artificial insemination procedure themselves on unmarried women; however, they agreed to provide all of the pre- and post-natal care as well as absorb any of the costs Benitez incurred as a result of a referral to an outside fertility specialist. Two other physicians in the same medical group had agreed to perform the procedure for Benitez.

The artificial insemination (AI) was unsuccessful, but Benitez filed suit six months after becoming pregnant through in vitro fertilization, claiming discrimination and later asserting that the physicians should have no right to a religious liberty defense. Benitez and her partner, Joanne Clark, now raise one boy and twin girls, both sets of children conceived with the same sperm donor.

The decision ultimately comes down to what is in the best interest of children and whether being raised by same-sex parents is healthy. The French government announced in February their decision to deny same-sex couples access to “marriage,” arguing that the denial is in the best interest of children. A report by a government commission set up to study the marriage issue concluded that it “is not possible to think about marriage separately from filiation: the two questions are closely connected, in that marriage is organized around the child.”

The Information Mission summed up its decision-making process on the matter, stating that “It considered the consequences for the child’s development and the construction of his or her identity of creating a fictitious filiation by law – two fathers, or two mothers – which they argued is biologically neither real nor plausible.”

See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
  French Government Report Says No to Homosexual “Marriage”
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/feb/06021601.html
  Lesbian Refused Artificial Insemination Sues Doctors
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/oct/05101803.html
  Court OK’s Religious Liberty Defense For Doctors Sued For Refusing Lesbian Artificial Insemination
https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/dec/05120703.html

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