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UK News

Lesbian couple welcomes ‘overwhelming’ support for challenging NHS fertility policy described as ‘£50,000 gay tax’

today11/11/2021

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A lesbian couple have praised the “overwhelming amount of support” they have received after taking their NHS Clinical Commissioning Group to court for its “discriminatory” fertility policy, which they described as a £50,000 “gay tax”.

Influencers Megan and Whitney Bacon-Evans told Sky News they are required to pay for 12 rounds of private treatment – a type of artificial insemination called IUI – before they can get NHS support to conceive.

By contrast, heterosexual couples become eligible for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) after having two years of unprotected sex “with no evidence required”, Whitney said.

Megan and Whitney Bacon-Evans said trying to conceive has already cost them £8,000. Pic: Megan and Whitney Bacon-Evans
Image: Megan and Whitney Bacon-Evans said trying to conceive has already cost them £8,000. Pic: Megan and Whitney Bacon-Evans

“You’re looking at essentially £50,000 you’d have to pay just to be on an equal playing field with a heterosexual couple,” she said.

Whitney said the number of people who have “reached out with a positive response” has made them realise “this does not affect just us, it affects the whole community”.

“It just shows there is such a need for what we’re really campaigning for,” she said.

The pair’s lawyers are hoping the court hearing will take place in January but that depends on whether they can get their case expedited.

More on Lgbt

The social media stars, who run a travel and lifestyle blog and appeared on the TV show Say Yes To The Dress, have been married for four years and have been together for 13.

The process of trying to conceive has already cost them £8,000 pounds, with the majority spent on donor sperm – another big expense on top of the private fertility treatments.

Megan said they want the “discrimination” to be recognised and for intrauterine insemination (IUI) and IVF to be provided by the NHS sooner.

She said there is more fertility support for lesbian couples in Scotland.

“When we embarked on our baby journey, beginning in 2020, we were shocked to discover there were various barriers and discrimination in place against us,” said Megan.

“And ultimately, it comes down to wanting equal access to fertility treatment.”

Megan and Whitney Bacon-Evans run a travel and lifestyle blog. Pic: Megan and Whitney Bacon-Evans
Image: Megan and Whitney Bacon-Evans run a travel and lifestyle blog. Pic: Megan and Whitney Bacon-Evans

She said there is an “unfair financial burden” placed on the LGBTQ+ community.

“There is – you could call it a gay tax – that is put on us,” said Whitney.

CCG Frimley, the subject of the judicial review, said: “The fertility services we provide are based on NICE guidance. While we can’t comment on individual cases we fully engage with any legal proceedings.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today11/11/2021