A new California law will make it easier for single women and same-sex couples to access fertility services come Tuesday.
The bill, AB 2356, will ensure that sperm donations and assisted reproduction services, which were previously prioritized for heterosexual couples, will be equally available to all women.
"AB 2356 removes the obstacles that LGBT and single women faced when they sought medically-assisted insemination," said Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, who introduced the bill, in a press release. "I am proud to have authored legislation that will eliminate those barriers and level the playing field for all women seeking medical services in their effort to conceive."
Skinner celebrated the bill's passing last month with Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and now will see it come into fruition.
Leading up to the bill, Equality California detailed the story of Maya and Chino Scott-Chung who became pregnant by using sperm donated by a friend via an artichoke jar eight years ago.
"Maya and I have been together going on 16 years," explained Chino in an Equality California video. "We both wanted to have kids and we both knew it when we got together. That was one of the big reasons we knew we could be together."
The at-home donation resulted in the birth of their happy, healthy daughter, Luna, but was technically illegal. When the couple had trouble conceiving a second child with the same method, they sought out medical assistance.
"I sat down with a very nice and very sympathetic doctor," explained Maya. "They said, 'Well, because you are two women and have a known donor, if you want access to assisted reproduction, the only way in this state that you'll be able to do that is if you and your donor go in and pretend to be a couple.'"
"Basically we would have to lie," she said. "And the thought of needing to lie about who we love and who we are in order to expand our family just seemed so painful and fundamentally wrong."
With AB 2356, couples like Maya and Chino will now have equal access.
"The decisions regarding building a family are a core freedom in California," said Equality California Board President Clarissa Filgioun. "This unequal treatment has, heartbreakingly, denied many couples the opportunity to conceive a child of their own."