2 lesbian couples sue New Jersey for equal fertility insurance coverage

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UNION CITY, N.J. -- Gloria Torres describes her partner Sarah Mills as a quiet, shy person. But she’s speaking out about this.

“I haven’t been the same since I found out about this,” said Mills. “I just feel like almost a second-class citizen. Because they’re not acknowledging we’re good people. We care about kids, we care about others. We’re in a same-sex relationship but that shouldn’t matter, I mean we’re in 2016.”

They and another same-sex couple are suing the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

Their lawsuit states that the State requires a woman to have sex with a man for one or two years and not get pregnant in order to qualify for insurance that covers fertility treatment. But that mandate leaves out same-sex couples like Sarah Mills and Gloria Torres.

Mills suffers from a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS throws your hormones out of whack. Women with PCOS rarely get their period and can develop cysts. She says artificial insemination would likely prove impossible. But they say that’s what their insurer wants them to try next – a process that could cost them over $30,000.

“The doctor at the insurance company said we don’t take lifestyle choices as a consideration. As if we choose to be gay - which we don’t - and that’s something we struggle with, coming out to our families. It’s hard process,” said Mills.

Mills and Torres say they’re not suing for the money and they’re not suing just for themselves. They want to see the state law changed.

“We don’t know what’s gonna happen, but what we’re hoping is that it will be changed,” said Torres, “that the state will take a look at it and say – hey, it needs to be the same for every woman.”

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