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Retired Idaho doc denies wrongdoing in insemination lawsuit

An eastern Idaho fertility doctor accused in a lawsuit of allegedly secretly using his own sperm to inseminate a patient nearly 4 decades ago says he did nothing wrong and doesn’t remember using his own sperm for the procedure.

Dr. Gerald Mortimer, a retired obstetrician and gynecologist from Idaho Falls, filed his response to the lawsuit in Idaho’s U.S. District Court on Wednesday. In it, he contends his patient agreed to let him select the “anonymous donor sperm” as long as he judged it to be appropriate and safe.

Kelli Rowlette and her parents Sally Ashby and Howard Fowler filed the lawsuit against Mortimer in March, contending that the doctor committed medical malpractice and fraud by using his own genetic material instead of that of an agreed-upon anonymous donor when he artificially inseminated Ashby in 1980. Rowlette says she discovered the alleged deception after submitting a DNA test to Ancestry.com, which identified Mortimer as likely to be her father.

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