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Who Accesses Infertility Treatment?

  • A disproportionate number of white, middle class, well educated, able bodied women living in heterosexual couples access infertility treatments.[1][2]

  • In the state of Massachusetts, the government mandated that infertility treatments be included in private health insurance plans. In spite of this, 60% of the women who accessed infertility treatments had a household income over $100,000, compared with 17.7% of the state population. However, many women of lower socioeconomic status may not have any health insurance coverage.[2]

  • In countries where infertility treatments are subsidized, rates of IVF are 3-5 times higher than in the United States, indicating the impact of the prohibitive cost of such treatments.[2]

1.

How do you feel about this inequity in access to infertility treatments?

2.

Is ’procreative freedom’ a human right?

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1. Peterson, MM. Assisted reproductive technologies and equity of access issues. Journal of Medical Ethics 2005;31:280-5.

2. Jain, T, Hornstein, MD. Disparities in access to infertility services in a state with mandated insurance coverage. Fertility and Sterility 2005;221-3.

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