Warning: spoilers ahead!
People watched Our fatherNetflix’s disturbing true-crime documentary — and viewers have some thoughts.
The documentary begins with Jacoba Ballard, a 35-year-old from Indiana. Ballard knew she was conceived using donor sperm, so she decided to take a genealogical DNA test to see if she had any half-siblings.
She didn’t expect to uncover a decades-old crime that would result in her finding more half-siblings than she anticipated.
It turned out that her mother’s fertility doctor, Donald Cline, had used his sperm to get his patients pregnant without their consent.
The documentary follows a leaked draft that revealed the US Supreme Court had voted to keep Roe v. Wade, a 1973 ruling allowing women to legally have an abortion.
And the viewers are unnerved by the topicality of the documentary.
Everyone watch the documentary OUR FATHER on Netflix… it’s a chilling parallel to our current reproductive rights issues. The whole thing is seriously disturbing, but especially the scene after 57 minutes in the documentary about the QUIVERFULL movement…
— emm i can uhhhhhhhhh (@emm_kirk) May 11, 2022
Our Father on Netflix is way too up to date on reproductive justice and religious law. I am exhausted. pic.twitter.com/hSqUXfkP8E
— Maddy Sperling (@saintmaddysday) May 11, 2022
If you haven’t seen the Our Father documentary on Netflix, you really have no idea how physically and legally vulnerable women really are. This story is dark, but even scarier in ways you wouldn’t expect.
– Sharon “I was right about 2022” Kaplan 📰 (@shakaplan) May 12, 2022
And because of DNA kits, more and more people are discovering doctors like Cline. According to the documentary report, there are currently 43 other doctors who have been found to have used their own sperm to fertilize their patients.
Thanks to mothers and siblings, illegal donor insemination has been illegal in Indiana since 2018; However, there is currently no federal law protecting other women.
“I’m not denying that there was sexual abuse, but legally there is simply no crime touching on this particular act,” said Tim Delaney, a former Marion County, Indiana, state attorney.
While you want to regulate all wombs, there MUST be federal law against illegal donor insemination. dr Cline’s butt should be in JAIL for rape and his offspring should have child support back. A $500 fine? TF?! 94+ siblings? Our father is so disgusting and heartbreaking.
— Jennifer D Laws (@jenniferdlaws) May 12, 2022
After watching Our Father on Netflix, I’m disgusted that a total of 45 fertility doctors used their own damn sperm to get their patients pregnant. And that’s legal. This country is so disrespectful to the womb. #Our father
— ✨ Tea ✨ (@bettawerkbish) May 11, 2022
Ballard continues to fight for justice for herself, her siblings, and other women. And despite pleas and threats from Cline, she refuses to back down.
“He wants me to keep quiet, but I will never back down,” Ballard said. “I will fight to uncover all your secrets.”
Because of Cline, Ballard and her siblings find themselves in the impossible position of having to be the bearers of bad news.
“Anytime a new sibling comes along, I know I’m going to call them, and I know I’m going to ruin their life,” Ballard said.