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During my research for my post Top 7 Websites Comparing IVF Clinic Success Rates, I came across Resolve.org’s State Fertility Scorecard. It shows a color-coded map of the United States as quick visual of the states that have better grade for access to infertility services. You can see your state’s grade and compare your state to others based on the following criteria (quoted from Resolve.org):
- “Number of peer-led RESOLVE support groups in state for people experiencing fertility issues
- Number of physicians specializing in infertility in state, at SART-accredited fertility clinics
- Number of women in state who have experienced physical difficulty in getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to live birth
- Insurance mandate information in each state” (Resolve, 2019).
Best States for Fertility Services with a grade of “A”:
- New Jersey
Worst States for Fertility Services with a grade of “F”:
Overall Alaska ranks the worst out of every state, with Wyoming shortly behind when based on the highest number of women with zero access to fertility services. Although I was somewhat surprised that Alaska (my state) ranked so low, I didn’t imagine we would be one of the top three worst states to live in for those struggling with infertility. But in a way it also makes sense. I’ve had to fly out of state for both my first and second round of IVF treatment. We have zero support groups of any kind for infertility. A few years back I attended a miscarriage support group and I was just one of two in attendance, but I learned that group has since ended. That was the only group in the city related to infertility. Since my reproductive endocrinologist (RE) retired earlier this year there are zero RE’s within my health insurance’s network. I’ve heard from my OBGYN there isn’t a single RE in the state anymore. That means 15,612 women who have dealt with infertility or pregnancy loss does not have any access to a fertility specialist either (Resolve, 2019). Yet there are zero laws on the books regarding fertility treatment, which also means there is no obligation to provide insurance coverage of any sort. Not even partial coverage is an option here.
Having learned all this, I feel very strongly that I should speak up and encourage our legislators to include at least partial insurance coverage for fertility treatment. I believe reproductive rights should include fertility treatment. There are so many women like myself who are unable to have a child naturally. I understand that I will probably have to navigate many questions during my time advocating for change. But through everything I’ve already faced, I feel like I’ve developed thicker skin which is probably going to serve me well when I get involved in the legislative process. When I think about it, not only am I advocating for legislative change for other women but it would also benefit myself too. I’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
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If you live in the U.S., what is your state’s Fertility Grade on Resolve.org’s Fertility Scorecard?
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Sources & Images:
Resolve.com Fertility Scorecard: http://familybuilding.resolve.org/fertility-scorecard/