State To Redefine Infertility To Include Gay And Lesbian Couples

The California state Senate recently passed a bill requiring insurance companies to cover in vitro fertilization for same-sex couples, sending it to the state House.

California To Classify Gay Couples as “Infertile”

Legislation passed in the Senate late last month and about to be taken up by the Assembly, would require employer-sponsored insurance plans to cover all nonexperimental fertility treatments, including artificial insemination of pregnancy surrogates.

The bill, S.B. 729, accomplishes this by classifying gay and lesbian couples’ inability to reproduce as “infertility.” This “will ensure that queer couples no longer have to pay more out of pocket to start families than non-queer families,” according to its author, state Sen. Caroline Menjivar.

Menjivar touted the legislation as “critical to achieving full-lived equality for LGBTQ+ people.”

The bill includes insurance coverage for in-vitro fertilization procedures gay couples who want children use to become parents. The bill’s text says:

The bill would revise the definition of infertility, and would remove the exclusion of in vitro fertilization from coverage.

One IVF cycle costs an average of $12,000 in California. The legislature estimates the mandatory coverage, partially funded by taxpayers, would raise premiums by 72 cents per member per month.

Straight couples who try and fail to conceive are considered infertile under the commonly accepted medical definition. Gay people, on the other hand, choose relationships that cannot possibly yield that result.

Some Americans are pushing back against the bill.

Men Having Babies, Equality California, and other S.B. 729 sponsors are also behind a federal bill by Reps. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) and Judy Chu (D., Calif.) would allow LGBT people and others to take tax deductions for medical expenses related to IVF and surrogacy.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has considered redefining infertility in the Affordable Care Act to require insurers to cover IVF and other fertility treatments for LGBT people.

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