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Infertility Advocacy Day: Why It Matters & How to Get Involved

April 12th, 2022 | 11 min. read

Infertility Advocacy Day: Why It Matters & How to Get Involved
Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her and was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has served as Illume Fertility's dedicated Patient Advocate and Strategic Content Lead for many years and is the founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support patients through gentle movement and meditation. Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.

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Have you been impacted by infertility, struggled to grow your family, or simply know someone else who has? As co-chair of RESOLVE's 2022 Advocacy Day, Illume Fertility's Patient Advocate, and a former fertility patient myself, I am passionate about increasing access to fertility care and supporting families.

Read on to learn why Advocacy Day is so important and how you can get involved from the comfort of your own home!

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What is Advocacy Day? 

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association holds an annual event called Federal Advocacy Day, where the infertility community comes together to talk to members of U.S. Congress about important issues like increased access to family building options and financial relief for those who want to grow their family. 

This year, RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day is all virtual, and will be in partnership with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). 

Advocacy Day is an interactive, engaging online event that brings together RESOLVE volunteers and champions to make change. Volunteers will receive training and support to meet virtually with members of Congress and staff on May 18, 2022 (Advocacy Day).

When is Advocacy Day 2022?

This year, RESOLVE's Advocacy Day will be held on May 18, 2022, from 10AM to 5PM.

New to advocacy? Don't worry! There will be a training call prior to May 18th, where RESOLVE will provide support and answer questions about how Advocacy Day works, what legislation is on the table and more.

Have more questions?

Check out RESOLVE's helpful FAQ section to get answers to these questions and more:

  • I'm not comfortable with public speaking - what will be required of me?
  • What should I wear on Advocacy Day?
  • Do I have to make appointments with my representatives?
  • I don't struggle with infertility but have friends or family who do - should I come?
  • What will this virtual event look like?
  • I want to participate but I'm not 100% sure I can come yet...what should I do?

How to Get Involved in Advocacy Day

Whether you're brand new to advocacy or a seasoned veteran - we need your voice!

Here are some easy ways to get involved and help families:

  • Register for Advocacy Day 2022 to join other infertility advocates and speak to members of Congress about the need for increased access to family-building options, financial relief and more. Note: this is an all virtual event you can attend from home!
  • Send a letter to Congress to let your representative know their constituents care about family building. You can even include some of your personal story, if you choose.
  • Share about Advocacy Day on social media and invite your community to join you.
  • Donate to RESOLVE and other infertility advocacy organizations! 
  • Volunteer for RESOLVE or other organizations to help lead advocacy efforts.

Ready to make a difference?

Register for Advocacy Day 2022


Infertility & Reproductive Autonomy

Reproductive autonomy means different things to different people. For me, and for the 1 in 8 like me who are affected by infertility, reproductive autonomy is about having the chance to bring children into the world. 

Maybe you were able to have children on your own. Or perhaps you struggled with infertility but were fortunate enough to have great insurance coverage, excellent clinicians and really good luck, and were able to become a parent through some form of fertility treatment.  

Maybe adoption was the perfect choice for you to expand your family.  

Maybe you could have had children but decided against it.  

No matter your personal decisions around family building, everyone deserves the chance to have a family of their own if they so choose. On Advocacy Day, we raise our voices for everyone who has struggled to have the family they dream of. 

Why participate in Advocacy Day?  

I am often asked why I'm so passionate about advocacy. While many people (including myself) have personal reasons for wanting to get involved in infertility advocacy, here are five powerful reasons to consider participating: 

  • Community: Join together to collectively tell our legislators that family building is important to us and needs to be a priority.
  • Empowerment: Because infertility may include loss and grief, but it doesn’t have to end there - you can turn your struggles into strengths!
  • Action: Because it's easy to participate, especially with Advocacy Day going virtual! 
  • Change your story: Take back control by being part of the change. In the last 30+ years, 19 states have mandated insurance coverage, including IVF. You can change your story (or help someone else change theirs) by using your voice to push for more progress.
  • Find your ending and help others find theirs. We’re not alone, we’re 1 in 8. While this is a group no one ever wanted to be in, we are so much stronger together.

If you feel drawn to any number of the reasons listed above, please register for Advocacy Day and join us (virtually!) on May 18th. Want to dive a little deeper? Keep reading:

Community

When you join RESOLVE and ASRM for Advocacy Day, you join a community of people telling our legislators that we are passionate about family building issues! Here's what we want to convey:

  • We want them to support legislation that will change how reproductive disease is treated in the United States
  • We should be able to use the medical insurance we pay for to cover the medical condition that we are facing (infertility)
  • That having a family (or not being able to) greatly impacts the rest of our lives 
  • That 1 in 8 people need accessible, appropriate medical treatment to have a child 
  • That infertility not only means you can't become a parent, it also means others cannot become aunts, uncles, grandparents - it means the end of a family's biological lineage 

Empowerment 

This is the one word echoed throughout the years on Advocacy Day. When you take a step forward to tell legislators how vital family-building bills are, you change. We change. I know it has changed me. Empowerment is a word that RESOLVE hears more often than any other.

Advocacy Day provides a space to express frustrations over not being able to have the family you dreamed of on the timeline you expected (or at all).

We carefully craft our stories so the full impact is felt, with legislators often staying silent, sometimes ending the session in tears. Legislators often have lots of questions, and we are able to explain why infertility is a disease that deserves their attention.

Being able to do all of this feels incredibly empowering!


Want a glimpse behind-the-scenes?

Read About Advocacy Day 2020


Action 

Infertility can make us feel broken. Less than. Damaged. Helpless. Emotions that no one wants to feel. But we have to remember that these feelings are not facts.  

One way to counter these feelings is to take action. If you are still trying to grow your family, you are probably taking many actions to achieve that goal. On Advocacy Day, you get to take a different type of action.  

Taking action to create lasting change can feel incredibly satisfying. That’s where advocacy comes in. It’s your opportunity to take action in a way that can literally change the world. You can help change who can access fertility treatment or when and if insurance coverage is offered to those struggling with infertility, which is life-changing!

“Infertility is not political, it does not discriminate, it affects healthy human beings and it can damage dreams, impair hope and cause faith to falter. Infertility is a battle that we all can take part in defeating.” - Lisa Rosenthal, Co-Chair of National Advocacy Day 2022 


Change Your Story  

Infertility is about loss. 

The dream of becoming a parent becomes battered, with the possibility of being lost forever. Friendships and other relationships are affected, due to the challenges of being with others who already have children or those who simply don't understand what we're going through. The emotional pain of feeling unsuccessful at fulfilling the biological instinct to become a parent is intense. 

How we spend our time and money is affected. Vacations, career advancement, moves and other milestones are deferred as medical appointments, treatment cycles and paying for treatment take precedence.

There is also a loss of reproductive autonomy when we aren't able to depend on our own bodies to function the way we expect them to. 

Infertility is about being courageous.

Yes, courageous! From taking the first step of booking an appointment to finding the strength to ask questions, see clinicians and doctors, go through fertility testing, deal with injections, procedures, anesthesia, hormones, investigating adoption or fostering, making decisions...it all takes a lot of courage.

Infertility is about family: creating our own and finding our way.

Every family looks different. Some families grow by having biological children, some grow through fertility treatment, some grow through adoption or fostering, and some find completion as a couple or a single person family.

Find Your Ending 

One thing about infertility is that when you’re in the middle of it, it can feel never-ending. Like you'll be stuck there forever. Time both slows down and speeds up, if you're worried about your "biological clock" ticking away.   

One truth about the journey to have a baby is that it eventually does end.  Whether it ends because you have limited insurance coverage, because you've exhausted your medical treatment options that are appropriate or helpful, because of finances, or because you finally have that long-awaited baby...it does end.

Help us make sure that no one has to end their story before they’re ready to. Help us tell our legislators that infertility deserves to be treated as a disease, with appropriate access to fertility care. Because our families matter.  

Be an Advocate for Change

Register now to join us for RESOLVE's Advocacy Day on May 18, 2022 to encourage members of Congress to prioritize family-building legislation, research and funding. Your voice and your story are powerful, and when joined with the voices of others, cannot be ignored. 


Your voice matters.

Register for Advocacy Day 2022


More Infertility Advocacy Resources

Feeling inspired to learn more about infertility advocacy efforts, how it impacts real lives and how you can get more involved in fighting for access to care for all? Explore the links below:

Want free, one-on-one infertility support? Email me to connect.