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

An infertility advocate explores Advocacy Day and how you can help increase access to family-building options for all hopeful parents.

April 6th, 2023 | 12 min. read

By Lisa Rosenthal

Have you struggled to grow your family or know someone who has? According to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 6 people globally have been impacted by infertility. In the United States, that number increases to 1 in 5, and it's no secret that many people don't have access to the care or financial support they need to become a parent.  

In this article:

We All Deserve the Chance to Build a Family

As co-chair of RESOLVE's 2023 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 of all kinds.

One way to do that is by joining us for Advocacy Day 2023!

Let's talk about why Advocacy Day is so important to the fertility and family-building communities and how you can get involved - from the comfort of your own home.

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 presented in partnership with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). My co-chair Ryan Ferrante and I have been working hard alongside hundreds of other advocates to bring this event to life and ensure we make the biggest impact possible. 

Advocacy Day is an interactive, engaging online event that brings together RESOLVE volunteers and champions to make change. All volunteers receive helpful training and support before meeting virtually with members of U.S. Congress and their staff.

When is Advocacy Day 2023?

RESOLVE's Advocacy Day will be held on April 25, 2023 from 10am to 5pm. And for the first time ever, this important event will be held during National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).

Read stories from last year's NIAW participants to learn more about this important week and be sure to follow us on social so you don't miss anything!

New to advocacy? Don't worry! There will be a training call prior to April 25th, where RESOLVE will answer all your last-minute questions about what to expect on Advocacy Day, what legislation is currently 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 will this virtual event look like?
  • 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?
  • 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 five easy ways to get involved:

  • Register for Advocacy Day 2023 to join other infertility advocates as we speak to members of Congress about the need for increased access to family-building options, financial relief and more. Remember: Advocacy Day is all virtual - no travel necessary!
  • 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 if you can.
  • Volunteer with RESOLVE or other organizations to help lead advocacy efforts.

Ready to make a difference?

Learn more about RESOLVE's Advocacy Day, how to register to be an advocate on April 25th, and other ways you can support the family-building community.

Get Started

Infertility & Reproductive Autonomy

Reproductive autonomy means different things to different people. For me, and for the 1 in 5 U.S. citizens like me who are affected by infertility, reproductive autonomy is about having the opportunity to bring children into the world. 

Note: In the wake of the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, reproductive freedom is being stripped away on many different levels. Dr. Murdock shared more here about how that can impact our community.

Maybe you were able to have children on your own. 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: 

  • Find community: Join together to collectively tell our legislators that family building is important to us and needs to be a priority.
  • Get empowered: Because infertility may include loss and grief, but it doesn’t have to end there. You can turn your struggles into strengths.
  • Take action: It's easy to participate, especially now that Advocacy Day is 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 5. And while this is a group no one ever wanted to be in, we are so much stronger together.

Keep reading to dive a little deeper! If you feel drawn to any of these reasons, please register for Advocacy Day and join us (virtually) on April 25th

5 Reasons to Become an Advocate

1. Find 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 5 people need accessible, appropriate medical treatment to have a child 
  • That infertility not only means you can't have a baby, it also means others cannot become aunts, uncles, grandparents - it means the end of a family's biological lineage 

2. Get Empowered

Empowerment is the one word echoed over the years around Advocacy Day. When you take a step forward to tell legislators how vital family-building bills are, you 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 to ensure the full impact of our experiences are conveyed. Legislators often stay silent throughout our meetings, sometimes ending the session in tears. They also 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.

3. Take Action 

Infertility can make us feel broken. Less than. Damaged. Helpless. All 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 is able to access fertility treatment and if/when insurance coverage is offered to those struggling with infertility, which are both life-changing!

To put it simply, 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.

4. Change Your Story  

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.

Infertility is about loss:

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 all takes a lot of courage.

Infertility is about family:

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.

Use your voice!

Register today to participate in RESOLVE's 2023 Advocacy Day and get empowered as you take action to push for change in the family-building community.

Register Now

5. 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, especially if you're worried about your "biological clock" that's 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 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 and our dreams matter.  

Looking for free, one-on-one infertility support? Email me to connect anytime.

Be An Advocate for Change

Register now and join us for RESOLVE's Advocacy Day on April 25, 2023 to encourage members of Congress to prioritize family-building legislation, research and funding. Your voice and story are powerful, and when joined with the voices of others, cannot be ignored.

Lisa Rosenthal

With 30+ years experience in the fertility field, as well as navigating her own infertility, Lisa has dedicated her life to advocating for and supporting those struggling to grow their families. Her work includes serving as Illume Fertility's Patient Advocate, Strategic Content Lead, and founder of Fertile Yoga, as well as advocating for those with infertility at RESOLVE and other organizations.

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