Should Fertility Treatment be State Funded?

Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (3):227-240 (2014)
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Many states offer generous provision of fertility treatment, but this article asks whether and how such state funding can be justified. I argue that, at most, there is limited justification for state funding of fertility treatment as one good among many that could enable citizens to pursue valuable life projects, but not one that should have the privileged access to funding it is currently given. I then consider and reject reasons one might think that fertility treatment has a special claim to funding, over the other goods that might enable life projects. First, I deny that fertility treatment has a special claim to funding on the grounds that infertility is a disease or disability. Second, I argue that individuals do not have a right to assistance with the project of having a child of their own. Third, I deny that providing fertility treatment is a special case on the grounds that having children is good for society. However, there may be one exception: states have a reason to fund fertility treatment for same sex couples that does not apply to heterosexual couples



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