California Governor Jerry Brown on
Friday signed a bill guaranteeing equal access to fertility services
to lesbian and single women.
The bill, authored by Assemblywoman
Nancy Skinner and co-sponsored by Equality California (EQ) and the
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), allows women using known
donors to access certain fertility procedures that are less expensive
and more effective.
“Women's issues once again are at the
forefront of national debate,” said Skinner in a statement. “I
am grateful Governor Brown signed legislation that will eliminate
barriers LGBT and single women confront when seeking to conceive.”
Clarissa Filgioun, board president of
Equality California, said the measure was needed because “same-sex
couples have faced many barriers in forming families, including
access to fertility healthcare.”
According to NCLR, women seeking to
conceive with a known donor who is not an “intimate partner” were
being asked to submit to time-consuming and costly testing that
decreased the chance of successful conception. Those tests, which
included freezing the semen, occurred with each insemination attempt.
“Many intended parents who would not
otherwise be able to afford any fertility services will be able to
access safe and more effective procedures under this new law,” said
Cathy Sakimura, Family Protection Project director at NCLR. We
applaud the governor and the legislature for recognizing that
same-sex couples, transgender people, and single women should have
equal access to fertility services.”
The law goes into effect on January 1.