advocacy day wrap-up

to be clear here, these are my opinions, not necessarily those of RESOLVE.  For more information on Advocacy Day and the issues we presented, please visit resolve.org

Look, I’m going to be honest here.  Advocacy Day was different for me.  It wasn’t a rah-rah-rah experience; it wasn’t uber-bonding with a group of women from my home state in similar situations; it wasn’t super-successful.

The good and amazing:

I met some amazing women – some I’ve watched from afar, too timid to engage.  Some were completely new to this but so fired up and effective – it was awe-inspiring.

I participated in our democracy in a way I’ve never done before.  It is our birthright as United States citizens to have our voices heard by those we elect – it is our right to show up in their offices to present what we need legislated.  That was an amazing experience.  I’ve always voted, but this was different and empowering.

The bad:

I live in the second most populous state.  I live in the second largest state by area.  I am not the only infertile woman who lives in my state, but I was the only participant from my entire state.

That I was the only one who showed up was honestly a little discouraging.

We have 32 representives in Congress.  31 didn’t get personal visits by their constituents.  I distributed the 17 additional “leave-behind” flyers to some of those offices, but it’s not enough.

It’s sad to me that infertility – a disease – is a partisan issue.  Diabetes, cancer, asthma, MS – none of these are partisan, and all are covered by insurance.  A bum uterus?  No tubes?  Anovulatory?  No sperm?  Well, I’m sorry, your insurance won’t cover treatment, and my senators aren’t particularly interested in doing anything about it because it’s expensive and somehow insults their pro-life stances (this wasn’t overtly said, but understood).  It seems a juxtaposition, an oxymoron, and even an insult to be pro-life yet anti-IVF.  All we want is to build families – to create life.

I have follow-ups to do.  I’m mulling my responses in my head – how to encourage those that don’t see what I see without alienating them.  Nudge instead of shove, encourage instead of berate.

Oh, and next time?  Could someone from my state come with?  Puh-lease?

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~ by Larisa on May 5, 2011.

5 Responses to “advocacy day wrap-up”

  1. What an amazing feeling it must have been to exercise your democratic rights! And as for you being the only one from your state to address the issues of infertiles, well, I guess that is part of the problem right now, isn’t? Not enough of us making enough noise. For some reason, this year the idea of going for Advocacy Day crossed my mind. If the motivation had been stronger, I would still have had a hard time doing it just for logistical (ie childcare) reasons. But, now you have gotten me thinking maybe I should try to do it next year.

  2. I share your frustration on the pro-life arguments against IVF.
    Their policy is actively preventing babies from being conceived (let alone born) in the name of protecting the right to life. The quality of life of the hope-to-be parents is not a factor it seems.
    There must be other answers than such a black and white stance.

    Mandatory insurance for IVF protocols that don’t involve embryo freezing?
    Funding for couples who agree to donate any leftover embryos to other couples?

    Not ideal, but something to think about.

  3. Hey there! I’m one of the bloggers who chatted with you at the end of the day yesterday next to the internal relocation site. 😉

    This was my first Advocacy Day, and I went into it with low expectations–which isn’t to say anything negative about Resolve’s efforts, but perhaps more indicative of my cynicism about our government and what truly spurs change. I did leave with a sense of empowerment–I had never participated in this kind of process before, and it was truly fascinating. However, my fascination was, unfortunately, tempered by my wonder if something will ever actually come from our efforts. Were those aides just blowing smoke up my bum? Certainly they are not as passionate as we are about that subject, but I hope I at least conveyed what a deeply important issue this is to us. *sigh*

    (And, yes, I totally agree with your assessment of the inconsistencies of the right’s pro-life and anti-IVF ideologies. BARF.)

  4. Hi there! I just wanted to say thank you so much for representing Texas! I’m sorry not more of us could be there to lend support and fight! I live in Texas, Dallas, and I actually lead a RESOLVE support group. I just want you to know that a few of our members and I have been trying very hard for over a month now to set up local meetings with Pete Sessions and other local congressional members and are getting the complete run around. They will not return our calls or they tell us to call blah, blah. So it seems like Texas just doesn’t really want to hear about this. I do have letters that some of my members have written to give to these representatives once they finally decide to face us!!! We really wish we could have been there to be with you. Most of us are doing IVF and we are having to pay for it out of pocket and as you know it makes funds next to none. I hope that next year more of us from Texas us can make it to D.C. to fight. Thank you again for your courage and dedication!!

  5. Hi there! I’m the other blogger that you met as you were wrapping up your day outside of the internal relocation room. It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope your museum tour was fun! If you choose to come next year please let me know and I would love to meet up before/after the event!

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