‘If you want to have a child, you should be able to try’: B.C. budget’s IVF promise

B.C. finance minister Katrine Conroy got choked up during her budget speech while announcing a plan for the province to provide one free round of in vitro fertilization.

Some of the measures included in the BC NDP’s latest budget are aimed at supporting families with rising costs and daily expenses. But one new program is targeted specifically for those who want to grow their families.

As part of Budget 2024, the BC NDP says it will launch its In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) program, starting in April 2025. The publicly funded program will make one cycle of IVF free, with the budget setting aside $68 million for this plan.

“It shouldn’t matter how much money you have, it shouldn’t matter who your partner is, who you love, if you want to have a child, you should be able to try,” said Finance Minister Katrine Conroy, who delivered the budget on Thursday, Feb. 22. 

Conroy notes B.C. is “one of the few jurisdictions in the country that doesn’t help people.”

“So we’re joining the ranks of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, who are offering one cycle of IVF to help people have the children they want to have,” she added.

The government says the program “will create more equitable access for people seeking IVF,” and will help people who may not otherwise be able to access fertility services.

“For people wanting to start a family, infertility and other barriers to parenthood can have a profound effect on their well-being and quality of life,” Budget 2024 explains.

The BC NDP says an expert group will be created this year to help put the program together, with considerations around things like age, service delivery options, and accessibility.

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