ASHLEY, ND - A nurse practitioner in Ashley is making waves across the state as an advocate for infertility.
Tara Brandner had her own struggle with infertility until her son was born in 2018. She says she knew she had to make a change once she realized Insurance does not recognize infertility as a medical diagnosis and had to pay all treatment costs out of pocket.
Brandner took her concerns to the legislature and created a bill that would mandate insurance to cover infertility treatment costs.
Her bill didn't pass, but Brandner says so much good came from her call to action.
"We had so much awareness raised and it was great conversation amongst public and legislators and different organizations-- that there is a problem here. We need to do something for these families and for these patients," Brandner says.
Her bill didn't pass this time, but Brandner says she'll be back. She plans to bring her bill to the next session and continue raising awareness in the meantime.
Brandner says her resolve comes from her own struggle and the struggle of others, like her friend Jenny Rohrich.
"It is mentally hard. It is physically hard, and it is financially hard... and the financial reason is one of the main reasons we took several breaks in our infertility journey because our insurance did not cover any of our services," Rohrich says.
There are currently 15 states with infertility coverage as well as a national bill at the federal level.