Some fellas in the Maine legislature think it would be nice if health insurance covered infertility treatment for ladies what want to have babies but cannot. So the state's Republican Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason has introduced S.P. 334, An Act To Provide Access to Infertility Treatment so infertility treatment will be more affordable. That's sweet of him! Testifying before the Committee on Insurance and Financial Services earlier this month, Sen. Mason explained why he has introduced this bill:


When a couple has been trying for years to conceive without success, the emotional toll can be almost too much to bear. There may be feelings of guilt, anger, and for many, a sense of loss often times, a couple builds their future around a plan of having children and can be devastated when they are unable to conceive a child through natural methods. I know that most of you know someone personally who has been faced with infertility issues and have heard first hand of the struggles they have endured. There are a number of people here today to share their stories as well.

That is why Sen. Garrett and his cosponsors -- state Sens. Andre Cushing and Rod Whittemore, and state Rep. Michael Shaw -- want to help those couples with this bill, to spare them the emotional toll of being childless. Awww, that's nice. Good for them. The end.

Oh, but there is one catch. Two actually:

The coverage required by this section is subject to the following conditions: A. The covered individual must be married; B. The covered individual's infertility may not be the result of a sexually transmitted disease[.]

If you are a single lady who wants to be a mommy, and you have planned your future around doing that, and you have suffered the emotional toll of not being able to have a baby, tough. Get yourself a husband, and then get back to us. And if your infertility is your own damn fault, because you slutted it up so hard and gave your ladyparts diseases, tough. You shouldn't have done that. You can just go right ahead with your suffering, or pay for your treatments your own damn self, because the Maine legislature is not concerned with helping you fulfill your dreams of parenthood. What kind of message would it send to the children you can't have, it Maine gave the thumbs-up to the wrong kind of parents?

Speaking on behalf of the Maine Alliance for Reproductive Freedom, Kate Brogan testified at the same hearing that it is just swell that Maine's legislature wants to require health insurance coverage to include infertility treatment, but the bill's limitation to chaste married couples “not only bears no rational relation to any legitimate state interest, it simply does not make medical sense."

Further, she said, it's obvious that "the intent of these two restrictions is to impose a standard of acceptable or favorable sexual behavior, beyond which individuals may not be equally protected, i.e. those who have sex outside of marriage will not be entitled to the same medicare care as other [sic]." And you know what? The Supreme Court has said you cannot actually do that. Really. It is not actually constitutional to have different laws for different citizens, based on how they do sex. (Side note: Pretty sure the Supreme Court will be spelling that out again very, very soon.)

So, Brogan explained to the committee, this bill to help only certain people the bill's sponsors consider appropriate for parenting is, like, not constitutional. And also, it's just really dickish:

[I]n order for this legislation to have the desired effect of encouraging “better” choices by an individual, one would have to expect young people to make the following decision: “I’m not going to engage in sexual activity now because I might get a sexually transmitted disease that may someday affect my fertility, and I’d like to be able to get insurance coverage to treat that infertility.” Otherwise, the purpose of this restriction is merely punitive; to punish individuals for sexual activity they engaged in years ago. And we know, given the nature of infections, that even a person who is abstinent until marriage can contract a sexually transmitted disease from a partner who has not been abstinent.

Maybe the bill's sponsors will amend it accordingly, so it covers everyone who would like to have babies but cannot have babies, because those guys really do care about helping citizens to have the families they want. Otherwise, sigh, it seems it's yet another attempt by Republican dudes (plus the lone Democratic state representative cosponsoring the bill) to dictate to Americans what constitutes the "right" kind of sex and the "right" kind of family, with no understanding of how sex actually works. Gee, doesn't that sound familiar?

[Maine Legislature]

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