Jennifer Kuiken, with husband Eric, has started a petition urging the provincial government to assist with coverage for in vitro fertilization. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford woman starts petition to have B.C. government help with IVF costs

Jennifer Kuiken says cost of in vitro fertilization is too high for most people

An Abbotsford woman has started a petition to get in vitro fertilization (IVF) covered – at least in part – by the provincial government.

Jennifer Kuiken said she started the petition due to the prohibitive costs of IVF – around $20,000 each time – for couples who are having difficulty conceiving.

She said she and her husband began trying to conceive a family in 2016, but due to abnormalities with the embryos/fetuses, they have suffered through six miscarriages.

“Recently, we’ve had to explore other avenues in hopes of becoming parents,” Kuiken said.

She said this has had led to them considering private IVF. The couple are both employed, but neither of their extended medical plans nor the provincial Medical Services Plan cover any of the costs.

ALSO READ: In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Kuiken’s petition on change.org has so far reached almost 1,800 signatures towards her goal of 2,500.

Her petition states that one in six couples experience difficulties conceiving, and most are not financially able to consider IVF.

“Because of the lack of support from our government, IVF has become big business, and B.C. couples like us are travelling to find access to affordable IFV solutions every day,” the petition states.

Kuiken said the World Health Organization recognizes infertility as a medical condition, and four other provinces – Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec – offer government support for IVF.

She would like coverage to extend to B.C. and, eventually, all of Canada.

“Not everyone wants to be a parent, but those who do should have access and options available,” Kuiken states.

The petition can be found at change.org/ivfcoverageforbc

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Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

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