SAN FRANCISCO — California Governor Jerry Brown (D) on Friday signed a bill to ensure that women in same-sex relationships and single women can access fertility services on the same terms as women in opposite-sex relationships.
Assembly Bill 2356, authored by Assembly member Nancy Skinner and co-sponsored by Equality California 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. AB 2356 ensures that all women have equal access to fertility services,” said Skinner. “I am grateful Governor Brown signed legislation that will eliminate barriers LGBT and single women confront when seeking to conceive.”
“The decisions regarding building a family are a core freedom in California. Same-sex couples have faced many barriers in forming families, including unequal access to fertility healthcare,” said Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California Board President.
“This unequal treatment has, heartbreakingly, denied many couples the opportunity to conceive a child of their own. Signing AB 2356 works to remedy that disparity, putting the joy of having a child and building a family within the reach of all loving families,” said Filgioun.
With this signing, women who seek fertility services with a known donor who is not their partner are no longer subject to time-consuming and costly repeat testing that decreases the chance of successful conception.
Now women who have unsuccessfully attempted to conceive at home with a known donor have access the same fertility services available to different-sex couples.
“This law allows doctors and providers to provide services that are currently only available to different-sex couples to people using known donors,” said NCLR Family Protection Project Director Cathy Sakimura.
“Many intended parents who would not otherwise be able to afford any fertility services will be able to access safer and more effective procedures under this new law. 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,” said Sakimura.
The law will go into effect on January 1, 2013.
Meanwhile, Brown has not yet taken action on a bill passed August 30 that would prohibit “ex-gay” reparative therapy for minors — he has until midnight on Sunday to sign it.