Gay couple sues NYC for denying IVF coverage

New York City is facing a lawsuit from a gay male employee who argues that the city's policy of only providing in vitro fertilization coverage to women is discriminatory.

The Thursday lawsuit was filed by former assistant district attorney Corey Briskin and his husband, who say they had to put off plans for IVF due to the lack of financial support.

City policy currently only covers IVF procedures in cases where the employee or their partner are infertile.

The lawsuit comes as the New York City Council is considering legislation that would change the city's rules, mandating IVF coverage for all employees regardless of marital status or sexual orientation, Reuters reported.

"No court has yet opined on the issue of whether gay men can be denied IVF benefits given to other employees," Peter Romer-Friedman, a lawyer for Briskin and his husband, told the outlet.

The lawsuit claims that withholding IVF coverage violates the city's guarantees against discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as the equal rights and due process protections in the U.S. Constitution.

IVF issues have been thrust into the spotlight in recent months thanks to questions about how the practice interacts with some abortion restrictions.

An Alabama Supreme Court ruling caused three state fertility clinics to stop offering IVF services. The Alabama ruling prompted a wave of national Republicans to come out in support of IVF, while some conservatives said it is an issue best left to individual states.

Democrats, however, have used the ruling as a political cudgel against the right, claiming that Republicans would crack down on IVF access and reproductive health measures nationwide – an attack that those on the right have denied.

Just one cycle of IVF treatment could cost between $15,000 and $30,000, depending on the clinic and a person’s medical history. Briskin and other gay male employees would only be able to access IVF through surrogacy.