Wisconsin’s attorney general is asking Congress to expand reproductive health services

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Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul on Wednesday joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general urging Congress to pass the Family Building Access Act, legislation that would protect the right to access technology for assisted reproduction (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), throughout the country. .

According to Kaul, assisted reproductive technology has given thousands of people in various situations the opportunity to grow their families. This includes cancer survivors, same-sex couples, people experiencing infertility and those choosing to be single parents. However, the high cost of procedures and the lack of insurance coverage for ART prevent many from accessing these services.

It is surprising that legislation like this has become necessary. But with Alabama’s recent decision putting IVF in jeopardy in that state and ongoing efforts to restrict reproductive freedom more generally, it’s clear that’s the case, Kaul said.

Congress must act to affirm that the government should not be in the business of depriving expectant parents of access to IVF,” Kaul added.

This letter follows the recent Alabama Supreme Court decision that endangered essential reproductive health services by classifying frozen embryos used during IVF as persons, the coalition of attorneys general argues for strong federal protections such as the Law of access to family construction, to expand access to ART. and protect patients’ rights to make their own reproductive health decisions.

The recent decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, which determined that embryos must be considered extrauterine children and that the destruction of embryos created through IVF is subject to the Wrongful Death of a Child Act states, jeopardized the practice of IVF in Alabama. Clinics across the state suspended their services immediately following this decision, devastating patients who were in the midst of IVF treatment. This decision threatens ART services across the country and the right of families to make their own reproductive health decisions, Kaul said.

In the letter sent to the leadership of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health, Wisconsin Attorney General Kaul and the coalition of attorneys general urge to Congress to take proactive steps to protect ART services.

According to Kaul, AOT has enabled thousands of people, including same-sex couples, single parents and those suffering from illnesses such as cancer or infertility, to start a family. Almost two percent of all babies born in the US each year are conceived through ART. However, the cost of ART services can be prohibitive and infertility insurance policy definitions can be limiting, especially for LGBTQ+ couples.

Officials noted that the average cost of ART services in the United States, such as IVF, is approximately $20,000 per cycle, but that number can increase depending on the patient’s medical protocols or if a patient undergoes several cycles. Currently, only 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws related to insurance coverage, but the terms vary from state to state. Insurance policies can also prevent patient access through different definitions of infertility or requirements that not all patients meet.

The Family Building Access Act would make ART services more accessible to families of all types, guaranteeing patients the right to ART without prohibitions or limitations or unreasonable interference, encouraging providers of medical insurance to cover these services and ensuring that patients have the right to make their own determinations and decisions about their reproductive genetic materials.

According to Kaul, ART is critical for families across the country, but barriers persist that prevent many from accessing these services. As the attorney general’s coalition argues in its letter to congressional leaders, these services are crucial and, in light of the recent Alabama Supreme Court decision, need protection.

Wisconsin Attorney General Kaul is joined in sending this letter to Congress by the Attorneys General of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada , New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

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