the veterans bill cleared the senate committee!

great news!  the women veterans and other health care improvement act, one of the bills we were speaking about for at resolve’s advocacy day, has cleared committee and will be going for a vote on the full senate floor!  this bill would help servicemembers made infertile during combat build their families.  currently, military families do not have coverage for IVF through tricare.

could you take a few minutes to contact your senators and ask for their support for the bill?  pretty please?  i’ve included the basic parts of the letters i sent this morning below, feel free to steal!

I was very excited to hear yesterday  that The Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvements Act (S 131) was cleared through the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and will be voted on by the full Senate.  The Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvement Act is a tremendously important piece of legislation to help our wounded veterans build their families.
From 2003 to 2012, Department of Defense data shows that almost 2,000 servicemembers suffered urinary tract and reproductive trauma.  In addition, spinal cord injuries can often require highly specialized medical treatments like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to conceive.  These injuries have been increasing in recent years as both the use of improvised explosive devices and foot patrols have increased in combat zones.
Currently, the VA excludes coverage for IIVF for infertile military families through TriCare, even for those couples where the servicemember is rendered infertile because of injuries sustained during combat.  Couples who require IVF to build their families due to their combat injuries must go outside the TriCare system and pay tens of thousands of dollars out of their own pockets for a chance to have a child.
The Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvement Act would remedy this injustice and provide the opportunity for servicemembers and their spouses to utilize assisted reproductive technologies to build their families.  In addition, it would provide families with limited financial assistance and others resources if they should chose to build their families through adoption after their combat injuries.
I hope that I can rely on your support to help our servicemembers and their families recover after the sacrifices they have made for our country.   Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact me or feel free to contact Barbara Collura, President/CEO of RESOLVE, at bcollura@resolve.org.  You may also visit the RESOLVE website at www.resolve.org/infertilityissues.  Thank you again for your consideration of this bill.
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hey new yorkers!

hey all you new york people: i have a mission for you! do me a quick favor, and contact your state senators and assemblypeople and ask them to support the Child-Parent Security Act!

the bill was introduced today by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Senator Brad Hoylman, and would help NY couples who need to use a gestational carrier to build their families. a gestational carrier is not biologically related to the child she carries; the child is conceived using the intended mother’s egg or a donor egg, and the intended father’s sperm or donor sperm (as opposed to a traditional surrogate, who uses her own egg to help the family conceive). surrogacy laws vary greatly from state to state. currently, in NY, surrogacy contracts are unenforceable and ban any compensation for the gestational carrier. in addition, after the child is born, the gestational carrier (and her husband, if she has one) must relinquish their parental rights to the child (that they are not related to), the intended parents must go to court to be declared the parents, and a new birth certificate must be issued.

under the Child-Parent Security Act, parents can provide compensation to their carrier, enter into a binding contract (that protects all parties involved), and be declared the legal parents of the child from birth, rather than jumping through a ton of legal hopes.

please, please, please take a few seconds to fill in your info and let Resolve send a quick email on your behalf? our representatives won’t know that this is an important issue unless we tell them!

oh, and while you’re at it, let your representatives in DC know that you care about the Family Act and the Women Veterans and Other Health Improvements Act! you know you want to!

for those who can’t celebrate mother’s day this weekend

i’m still working on my post about wednesday’s advocacy day (in short – it was amazing and i can’t wait for next year!), but in the meantime, i wanted to ask you all to do a little something for me.  something in honor of mother’s day, and all the women out there who will be unable to celebrate this year.  could you take a few minutes to contact your representatives and ask for their support on the two bills that would make a world of difference to couples like Ralph and i?

we are looking for support for the family act, a tax credit that would help couples with the costs of IVF, as well as cancer patients needing to preserve their fertility.  we also hope to get passed the women veterans and other health care improvement act, that would cover IVF for soldiers that are made infertile by injuries sustained in war.

i have written up a couple of letters that you can easily copy and paste into your email and send out. (i wrote ones for new jersey, pennsylvania, and new york since that’s where i know lots of people.  give me other states and i will make one specific for you).  you can check here to find your representative (or let me know your zip and i will gladly find it for you).  it will only take a few minutes of your time, and will make a tremendous difference to infertile couples.

niaw: stuff that rocks my socks

have you heard, it’s national infertility awareness week! and in honor of it, i have been doing a bunch of posts this week for all of my fertile friends and family to help inform them about infertility and the issues in our community.

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so, i think you’ve heard me ramble on enough this week, how about listening reading to some of the other amazing people in the ALI (adoption, loss, & infertility) community. it’s time for another list o’ awesomeness:

  • first off, thank you to our family and friends for their support. it may seem like a small thing to you, but every message, facbook like, and blog post you shared meant so, so much to me. thank you!Read More »

niaw: join the movement

have you heard, it’s national infertility awareness week!  and in honor of it, i have been doing a bunch of posts this week for all of my fertile friends and family to help inform them about infertility and the issues in our community.

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so we’ve covered some basic information on infertility and in vitro fertilization.  we’ve debunked that popular misconception.  we’ve talked about access to treatment and the politics of infertility.  you’re practically an expert!

so what?  who cares?  you’re done having kids/not interested in offspring/have a fully functioning reproductive system.  what’s this all have to do with you?Read More »

niaw: access to treatment

have you heard, it’s national infertility awareness week! and in honor of it, i have been doing a bunch of posts this week for all of my fertile friends and family to help inform them about infertility and the issues in our community.

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personhood legislation and similar laws aren’t the only things that can make it difficult for infertile couples to build their families.  by and large, the biggest hurdle for couples is financial.  according to resolve, the average costs of various ART procedures:

  • IUI: ranged from $275 to $2,457—a huge differential. Some prices quoted include medications, blood work and sonograms; others do not
  • fresh IVF cycle: $8,158 plus an average of $3,000 – $5,000 for medications
  • additional cost of ICSI procedure:$1,544
  • additional cost of PGD procedure: $3,550

that’s a little bit more than the fancy dinner and bottle of wine some people can make a baby with.Read More »

niaw: the politics of baby-making

have you heard, it’s national infertility awareness week! and in honor of it, i have been doing a bunch of posts this week for all of my fertile friends and family to help inform them about infertility and the issues in our community.

——

I don’t want this to turn into an abortion debate. I am not naive enough to think that this is some clear cut black-and-white issue that we can all eventually agree on. But I don’t think that I can discuss the legislation impacting our community without going there. So please, just read with an open mind. And if you need to, ignore that part. But please don’t dismiss the real risks to my ability to make a family that current “pro-life” agendas present. I also reserve the right to moderate and delete comments posted here.Read More »