A lesbian couple who wanted a baby was discriminated against over their sexuality after being denied access to funded IVF treatment which would have been given to same-sex partners.
Laura Hineson and Rachel Morgan were told by their local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group they would have to spend £6,000 on six rounds of intrauterine insemination due to unexplained infertility reports the Telegraph.
However, under Barnsley CCG’s policy, a heterosexual couple with similarly unexplained infertility would not need to undergo the same procedure before being granted access to IVF treatment.
The couple enlisted law firm Leigh Day to look into claims of unlawful direct discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 on the grounds of their sexuality.
They argued there was a “clear inequality” in treatment between same-sex and heterosexual couples which impacted on their finances and the delay in conceiving.
A review by Barnsley CCG found consultants were relying too heavily on the policy, rather than the individual circumstances of the case, and that changes had been made so there were no longer unfair advantages.
In a statement, the couple said: “For us, this is about fighting for LGBT equality. We should have equal access to IVF treatment and a family, irrespective of the gender of the person we fall in love with.”
Rosa Curling, a solicitor at law firm Leigh Day, said: “It was clear to us that Laura and Rachel had faced direct discrimination due to their sexuality.
“We are pleased that the CCG finally recognised this and agreed to review their policy so that other same-sex couples will not face an unfair disadvantage over heterosexual couples in the same situation.”