Alabama Politician Sperm Donation Scandal
December 13, 2011 by staff
The New Zealand Herald is reporting that Bill Johnson impregnated women through sperm donation while overseas much to the shock of his wife who remained in the United States.
The New Zealand Herald reported that Bill Johnson has been in that country for most of 2011 for earthquake relief and used an online persona to meet women who wanted assistance getting pregnant. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Johnson discussed donating sperm to nine women, three of whom are now pregnant.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the news came as a shock to Johnson’s wife who remained in the United States. Johnson campaigned on a conservative platform during his run for Governor of Alabama.
CBS 42 attempted to contact Bill Johnson by phone and left two messages, but at press time we had not been able to reach him for comment.
The New Zealand Herald also raised questions about how much information the women who sought help from Johnson, might have had about each other.
The Director of Alabama Fertility Specialists, Dr. Michael Steinkampf, says here in the United States the process of donating sperm is typically anonymous and handled by a sperm bank, but not always.
“In this country most sperm donations are anonymous, the samples are obtained from a sperm bank, one of a number of sperm banks around the country and there is no mandated record keeping to so that people can find out if they’re related to another. That does exist in some other countries,” said Dr. Michael Steinkampf. “My understanding is that there is at least one voluntary database for the children of egg or sperm donors/donation in this country, but there’s nothing mandated. Anonymous is anonymous, just that.”
The FDA regulates sperm banks which typically freeze samples for six months then retest the donors to reduce the possibility of spreading disease, according to Steinkampf.
Unregulated sperm donation operations have been a source of controversy.
“There has been a lot of publicity about men who offer their sperm samples to women who desire donor insemination. My understanding is that they advertise either on the internet or Craigslist or some other service,” said Steinkampf. “Remember that sperm donation, sperm samples in this country that are provided by sperm banks, commercial sperm banks, must be frozen, stored, quarantined and then the donor retested to ensure they don’t have infections such as HIV.”
Dr. Steinkampf says egg donors can also remain anonymous here in the United States and because the procedure is more involved- egg donors can earn a lot more money.
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