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Hawaii Urged Equal Access To Fertility; Set To Be First American State With This Law

Update Date: Apr 12, 2017 03:30 AM EDT
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Human embryos in a petri dish
In vitro fertilization in surrogates for male same-sex couples is being pushed in Hawaiian state legislation. (Photo : Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in Hawaii are asking the state government to pass legislation allowing homosexual couples equal access to medical treatments that are priced at a lower rate for heterosexual couples. If the state government acts in their favor, Hawaii is going to be the first American state with this law.

How Does The Law Work?

The LGBT in Hawaii are pointing out the discrepancy between what same-gender couples and single women and heterosexual couples can avail of in terms of their health insurance policies which the community says is discriminatory. The situation was highlighted when a same-gender couple found out that they could have saved money if they were a heterosexual couple when they decided to get a surrogate mother in their attempts to have children. The state requires health insurance providers to cover in vitro fertilization but only when the process makes use of the sperm from the spouse, ABC News reported.

If Hawaii becomes the first American state with this law, same-gender couples and single women who opt to have this treatment will not have to pay out-of-pocket and be threatened with being burdened with debt. In vitro fertilization is a treatment where a doctor harvests sex cells from parent-donors and does the fertilization in a laboratory dish. The fertilized egg is then implanted in the uterus of the wife or the surrogate, Science Times reported.

Hawaii As First American State With This Law?

The gay community is pushing Hawaii to be the first American state with this law since they believe that it is time to fix inequalities in family building, as marriage equality is already instituted in the state constitution. But this proposal is not without critics.

A major health plan provider disagrees with this measure as it believes it is too risky. The reason they do not perform in vitro procedures with donors and surrogates is because they try to avoid complex legal and medical issues associated with them. They also say that the coverage of these procedures will increase costs for the company and eventually the customers.

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