California legislators are making progress with a proposed legislation that seeks to redefine the incapacity of men to conceive as "infertile" and grant them access to fertility treatments covered by insurance.
After being approved by the Senate at the end of the previous month, the legislation is now set to be considered by the Assembly.
If passed, the law would mandate that employer-provided insurance plans include coverage for all non-experimental fertility procedures, such as artificial insemination and pregnancy surrogacy. Advocates of the bill view it as a long-awaited advancement towards achieving "fertility equality" for the LGBT community, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
Caroline Menjivar, a newly elected state senator, belonging to the Democratic Party, teamed up with Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, also a Democrat, to draft the proposed legislation. Menjivar expressed her views, stating, "It will ensure that queer couples no longer have to pay more out of pocket to start families than non-queer families. ... This bill is critical to achieving full-lived equality for LGBTQ+ people, as well as advancing well-rounded and comprehensive health care for all Californians."
In the progressive state of California, there has been limited resistance to S.B. 729, the bill in question, primarily centered around worries regarding increasing insurance premiums. Nevertheless, this legislation represents a budding movement led by advocates for LGBT rights, which has the potential to ignite a fresh battle in the ongoing national discourse on gender.
The proposed bill on fertility insurance aims to broaden the range of services covered by employers to include in vitro fertilization (IVF) and extend the legal definition of infertility to encompass "A person’s inability to reproduce either as an individual or with their partner without medical intervention."
Emma Waters, a research associate at the Heritage Foundation, raised concerns regarding non-traditional family structures and various methods of reproduction, such as surrogacy and in IVF.
"Under this bill, most insurance plans would be required to provide in vitro fertilization services based on someone’s relationship status or sexual orientation," Waters said. "For single men or male same-sex couples, this means they would need to access a surrogate to carry their child. So the bill is outlining what adults have the right to, but nowhere does it address the needs of the child or safety concerns regarding the child either in IVF or in gestational surrogacy."
Director Greg Burt of the California Family Council Capitol stated:
This bill seeks to further erode the father, mother, and child nuclear family and make everyone in society pay for it to further a make-believe cause named 'fertility equality.' The reason healthy singles and same-sex couples can't reproduce has nothing to do with infertility; it has to do with biology.