In 2013 the American Society for Reproductive Medicine & Science (ASRM) Ethics Committee published their opinion on access to reproductive care for single people and same-sex couples and singles. (#Access2IVF)
As a matter of ethics, The Committee believes the ethical duty to treat persons with equal respect requires that fertility programs treat single persons and gay and lesbian couples equally to heterosexual married couples in determining which services to provide. New Jersey is one of only 15 states that require insurance companies to cover fertility treatment-but apparently, not for all.
The New Jersey state mandate requires most major insurance companies to cover medically necessary treatments for infertile clients. It defines infertility as the inability to impregnate another person, the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth or the inability to conceive after one or two years of unprotected sex, depending on the woman’s age. “That language,” according to Ms. Grace Cretche, Esq. “violates the constitutional rights of non-heterosexual women.”
Lesbian couple Erin and Marianne Krupa of Montclair, along with their attorney Ms. Cretche, are suing the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance over NJ’s rules for fertility treatment (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/nyregion/lesbian-couple-sues-over-new-jersey-rules-for-fertility-treatment.html). In the suit the Krupas, along with two other women, claim the mandate discriminates against their sexual orientation — essentially forcing infertile homosexual women to pay out-of-pocket for costly procedures to try to become pregnant.
IRMS fully supports the ASRM position of #Access2IVF for all – not just heterosexual couples but a wide range of people who have historically lacked access to fertility treatment. This includes lesbian and gay couples, single women and men, & veterans. It also includes those who need IVF technology to preserve fertility, such as young people with cancer, and those needing to prevent transmission of genetic diseases (such as using IVF with PGD, Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis). IVF technology has the ability to help people conceive, preserve fertility and lower risks for miscarriages and birth defects. At IRMS we know that having a family is such an important human endeavor, and we urge our policymakers to recognize that the widespread lack of insurance coverage for fertility treatment does not make sense. The cost for society (and insurance companies) to cover these treatments is minimal, yet the potential benefits are enormous. The mental stress associated with infertility and its financial burden to families that lack coverage can result in time lost from work as well as dramatically increasing an individual’s risk for depression and anxiety. We hope that this case will raise awareness and pave the way for #Access2IVF for everyone.