Virtually all 1st world countries guarantee women access to IVF, save one the US. Insurance covers 4 cycles in France and Belgium, 3 in the UK. In Germany hormonal therapies for the support of ovum maturation are covered completely by statutory health insurance. Since January 2004, at least half of the costs of insemination or IVF/ICSI treatments are covered and some health insurance companies cover them completely. According to ESHERE Ireland, Cyprus, and Lithuania, are the only European Union states that do not provide state funded publicly accessible IVF. In Israel the system is designed to ensure everyone who wants to, can have a baby.

The US is the exception, only 13 states mandate IVF coverage, Arkansas, Hawaii, Utah, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. In California for example, the law specifically states that insurers are not required to cover IVF

IVF is expensive $12,000 to $14,000 per cycle and often requires multiple cycles for a woman to become pregnant. Clearly this is a significant economic burden and one that dramatically favors the well off. There were 368,502 ART cycles that occurred in the U.S. in 2021, a 19% increase from 2020. Approximately 89,208 live births happened in 2021 thanks to ART. 33% of people undergoing IVF get pregnant during their first IVF cycle. 54-77% of women undergoing IVF get pregnant by the eighth cycle.

In the United States, among married women aged 15 to 49 years with no prior births, about 1 in 5 (19%) are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying (infertility). Sadly, we offer less support to these women than other major countries.

Cynically one could conclude that in the US we value a women’s right not to have a baby more highly than her right to have a baby. For example, The Affordable care Act requires that most insurance plans must cover all methods of birth control including oral contraceptives. With some exceptions abortions are easily available e.g. there were over 930,000 abortions in the Us in 2020. This does not include abortion drugs that were obtained outside of a clinical setting.

While we are pro-choice, we believe the definition should be expanded to allow all women the choice to have a child no matter her financial circumstances.

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