EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – The Wisconsin Building Families Act was introduced Monday by Wisconsin State Senator Kelda Roys and State Representative Jodi Emerson along with The Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health.
“We know that infertility is a problem that thousands of Wisconsinites struggle from and too often many of them struggle in silence because of the shame and stigma surrounding infertility,” Roys said.
Roys says the goal of the bill is to provide affordable infertility treatments to couples and people looking to grow or start a family of their own.
“Our Wisconsin building families act recognizes that infertility is a disease and expands access by removing economic barriers to fertility treatment.,”Roys said. “It requires health insurance plans to cover infertility treatments and infertility preservation services.”
Infertility treatments can cost thousands of dollars. That’s something Collin Hawkins and his ex-wife know all too well.
“The price that it took for us to get our beautiful children that we were so lucky to end up with, was an excess of 65 thousand dollars,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins says going through infertility treatments took an emotional toll as well.
“Those sleepless nights, those really difficult situations where you get baby announcements from friends and family where you want to be so happy for and ends up just with this stinging guilt underlying it because to know it’s one more person who gets to live their dream while you’re desperately trying to just cling to yours,” Hawkins said.
Emerson says the bill may not be able to do away with the emotional hardships of infertility but help more Wisconsinites bring their dreams to life.
“The stress and emotional hurt that one goes through while dealing with infertility isn’t something legislation can fix, but we can help by alleviating the financial burden that these people are going through,” Emerson said. “Choosing when to start a family is one of the most personal decisions a couple can make. For those experiencing infertility issues, same for same-sex couples, finance should not get in the way of them wanting to start a family.”
Emerson says love, not money, should determine what makes a family.
Nineteen other states have fertility insurance coverage. If the Wisconsin Building Families Act is approved, Wisconsin could become one of those states as well.
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