Father of Two Daughters Works for Fertility Preservation
“We are thrilled to honor Assemblymember Anthony Portantino with our first-ever Advocacy Award,” said Alice Crispi, founder of Fertile Action which will honor Assemblymember Portantino Thursday in Los Angeles. “He is the first legislator to author a bill that would provide insurance coverage for young adults with cancer to preserve their fertility. It takes courage to be the first to take a stand on anything and we are so inspired by his tenacity and support on this issue.”
Last year, Assemblymember Portantino authored AB 428 which called on insurers to provide fertility options for patients of childbearing age who face chemotherapy. Chemo often leads to infertility. Under Portantino’s proposal, patients maintain the ability to have children after treatment. Although the bill was held in the Assembly, it brought nationwide attention to the issue.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award. As a father of two cherished daughters, I was concerned but not surprised to learn that some patients will forego or postpone a cancer treatment that might hinder future reproduction,” commented Assemblymember Portantino. “I wrote this legislation so these patients can choose the treatment option that is best for their own health while helping them safeguard reproductive ability.
Each year, 140,000 men and women of reproductive age are diagnosed with cancer or other diseases that have treatments which affect fertility. Although most insurance covers the consequences of cancer treatments, such as reconstructive surgery, losing reproductive ability as a result of chemotherapy and other treatments is currently not covered.
“While I am disappointed that we couldn’t get the Legislature to approve this bill, I am pleased that the fight for fertility preservation will continue in both the state and national level,” concluded Portantino. “While out of office, I will continue to be an advocate for this issue.”