Hilary Swank Sues SAG-AFTRA for ‘Barbaric’ Treatment Over Denial of Coverage for Ovarian Cysts

Hilary Swank is suing the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists over its "barbaric" treatment over its decision not to cover her treatment for ovarian cysts. The Oscar-winning actress filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, September 8 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

In the court documents, the 46-year-old says beginning in 2009, she submitted claims to the plan's precursor, the SAG Health Plan, for treatment of ovarian cysts. The trustees initially denied but later agreed to cover.

However, in 2015 the trustees "stopped allowing Swank's claims for treatment of ovarian cysts." The "Million Dollar Baby" star alleged that the board of trustees came to this decision because they were "relying on the notion that the only purpose of preserving the health of an ovary is to procreate."

In response to their decision, Hilary and her doctors explained, "She was not seeking coverage for fertility treatment, but only for treatment for her ovarian cysts." Despite the clarification from her health care team, she didn't receive approval for the "medically necessary" treatments.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Hilary says she was "truly exhausted by the way women's ovarian and cyclical health issues continue to be treated by healthcare insurance companies." She blasts the Guild as claiming, "Their policies are antiquated, barbaric and primarily view the role of women's organs solely as a means for procreation."

Of her goal with the lawsuit, the actress says, "My hope is to create change for all woman suffering from women's health issues that have to battle with insurance companies who diminish the significance of their problems, don't believe the patient (or their doctor's) explanations surrounding their suffering, and severely preclude coverage to only incredibly limited services and procedures."

"After years of experiencing my own health issues and the ensuing denials from my healthcare company for services that are medically proven to preserve my life, and seeing how expensive this is to support without the help of an insurance company, I decided to speak up," she goes on sharing.

"My hope is to be a voice for them. SAG/AFTRA Healthplan claim they treat and protect all their members equally. I don't believe this is true. If you're a woman suffering from female health issues, I have no doubt you'll agree with me. If you're a man, ask your mother, your daughter, your sister, or a girlfriend. I already know the answer," she continues, before concluding, "I'm suing SAG/AFTRA Healthplan. It's time we are treated fairly."

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