IVF Babble

Will President Biden increase access to fertility healthcare?

Now that a new president has been in the White House for a few weeks, reproductive rights activists are eager to find out if change is coming

As President Biden and Vice President Harris attempt to unify the schism in American politics, they have a chance to revisit some important issues, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid.

This could change the reality of dealing with infertility in the US and ensure that people of all ethnicities, genders, races, and income levels can access the treatments they need to become parents.

For Madison Chapman, a writer for Ms Magazine, this is a deeply personal issue. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she was just 24 and was given the option to freeze her eggs before undergoing chemotherapy. Only a few states have legislation mandating that insurance companies cover the exorbitant costs of IVF. Shockingly, these mandates fail to include fertility preservation for young cancer patients.

Chapman was able to rely on the support of friends and family to help her foot the $12,000 bill to freeze her eggs. Of course, that isn’t possible for many people. As she writes, “Those faced with the harrowing decision to pay out of pocket for fertility treatment—especially transgender folk, queer folk, the chronically ill and Black women, who are at greater risk of infertility—can experience severe physical, emotional and psychological harm as a result.”

She wonders if President Biden will prioritise the experience of women dealing with infertility

It certainly seems promising – he has announced an “Agenda for Women” that includes health care issues. The Agenda promises to strengthen the ACA, improve access to contraception, and address and reduce maternal mortality. While it doesn’t explicitly mention infertility healthcare, activists are hopeful that it will be addressed.

Chapman points out that the fertility industry currently caters to “white, wealthy, middle-class women.” She implores feminists to recognise IVF as a deeply segregated health treatment that is out of the grasp of queer, Black, trans, and/or poor women. If the ACA is expanded to cover more fertility treatments, it could go a long way to closing the IVF gap.

In her recent Ms Article, she calls on Biden and Harris to prioritise these vital healthcare treatments and make them equitable and accessible for all. “Federally mandating the ACA and Medicaid to cover fertility treatment is one vessel for President Biden to more dramatically expand women’s access. Understanding the obstacles to fertility treatment for Black women and LGBTQI+ folks highlights the opportunity at hand.”

Chapman, amongst many other feminists and reproductive rights activists, is calling on Biden to expand access to fertility treatment within his first 100 days in office

This is not just a ‘woman’s issue – more robust fertility care will help dismantle “class-based ideas” about who “deserves” motherhood.”

What do you think about President Biden’s commitment to women’s healthcare? Do you think he will expand the ACA and improve access to IVF and other fertility treatments?

We would love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a line at info@ivfbabble.com

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