The recent policy trend towards commodifying children in the name of reproductive rights is a stark shift from the understanding of children as a blessing to be received in the context of marriage. This paradigm shift is manifesting in a California bill that fundamentally redefines infertility, extending its application to single individuals or same-sex couples. The bill mandates that most health insurance plans provide coverage for in vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure traditionally provided for couples unable to conceive naturally. By redefining ‘infertility’ to refer to a ‘person’s inability to reproduce either as an individual or with their partner without medical intervention,’ the bill effectively mandates insurance coverage for IVF for those whose relationships are inherently infertile, including same-sex couples or single individuals.
California’s Senate Bill 729, if passed, will necessitate insurance coverage for diagnosing and treating infertility, and will provide fertility services irrespective of race or gender identity. While the proposed legislation does not directly mandate insurance coverage for egg, sperm, or embryo donation, or for gestational surrogacy, it ensures that those resorting to these methods are not excluded from IVF insurance coverage. The bill essentially requires insurance companies to support the illusion that men can bear children, paving the way for single men, “transgender women” (biological men identifying as women), or men in same-sex relationships to secure insurance coverage for the use of their sperm, purchased eggs, and rented wombs for reproduction.
The exorbitant cost of IVF, estimated to be around $15,000 to $30,000 per round, could be reduced significantly if the bill passes. However, this would inadvertently result in the commodification of human life, creating a marketplace for babies, especially considering that IVF often requires several rounds before resulting in successful conception, let alone a live birth. The overall cost can exceed $225,000, encompassing legal, medical, and surrogate fees, a figure that would be significantly reduced through mandated insurance coverage.
The motivation behind the redefinition of infertility stems from an LGBTQ+ group called ‘Men Having Babies,’ dedicated to helping gay men become fathers. This organization propagates commercial surrogacy and has already influenced the state of Illinois to provide insurance coverage for gay couples and single individuals. They perceive the provision of IVF coverage to gay men as a matter of “fertility equality” and a step towards eradicating what they term “reproductive discrimination.” They maintain that biological sex should not be a factor in determining one’s ability to have children, a stance that undermines the biological realities of the world we live in.
The proposed bill has far-reaching implications, which include the exploitation of women through commercial surrogacy, an increase in insurance costs for everyone, and the legitimization of non-traditional family structures. Additionally, it overlooks the potential health risks associated with IVF, such as cancer, heart issues, and physical deformities. It effectively commodifies childbearing and obliges others to bear the financial burden because of somebody else’s lifestyle choices. Such policies border on human trafficking, trading the blessings of children for financial gain. California lawmakers must conscientiously object to this legislation for the sake of the children who are bound to be most affected by this approach to reproductive rights.