The California State Senate this week voted 26 to 10 to approve a bill that ensures women in same-sex relationships – and single women – can access fertility services on the same terms as women in opposite-sex relationships.

Assembly member Nancy Skinner’s Bill 2356, is co-sponsored by Equality California and the National Centre for Lesbian Rights.

The bill, if passed, will allow women using known donors to access cheaper and more effective fertility procedures.

Next, the bill will proceed to the governor’s desk after a routine vote in the Assembly to concur in amendments made in the Senate.

Ms Skinner said: “I’m proud to author AB 2356, legislation that removes barriers to women seeking fertility services.

“AB 2356 will end the unequal access to fertility services that LGBT women or single women confront when trying to conceive.”

Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California board president added: “Same-sex couples face many barriers in forming families, including unequal access to fertility healthcare. This unequal treatment has, heartbreakingly, denied many couples the opportunity to conceive a child of their own.

“AB 2356 helps to remedy that disparity, putting the joy of having a child and building a family within the reach of all loving families. We thank Assembly member Skinner for her leadership on this bill and advocacy on behalf of thousands of same-sex couples and their families in California.”

National Centre for Lesbian Rights Family Protection project director Cathy Sakimura pointed out that donor-testing laws didn’t address the problem, but if the new bill was passed, women could access more affordable and effective fertility procedures. She added: “This bill makes a small change in the law that will greatly benefit many families who would otherwise be unable to conceive.”