Infertility, Infertility Advocacy

I did it. I got my Congressman’s support.

April 25, 2011

Today’s score is Whitney 2 – Infertility 0.  Sometimes one person really can make a difference.

For RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day, I met with my Virginia Congressman, Representative Bob Goodlatte, and got his verbal support for TWO infertility initiatives.  I am so glad that I did this.  I wanted to try, but never had any expectation that I would get any action or support out of it.

I was so nervous, but somehow I found the courage to get through my little speech without breaking down or forgetting anything.

I discussed the basic infertility 101 information and then told him our story.  When I told him we had spent north of $28,000 out-of-pocket so far, that got a “wow” from him.

Then, I told him I was really there to talk about the family tax credit bill that will be introduced in the House and Senate very soon.  It will be very similar to the adoption tax credit and will provide a credit for half of IVF-related medical expenses up to around $13,000.  I pointedly asked if I could count on his support, and he said yes.  So then I was feeling really brave and asked if he’d be willing to co-sponsor it and he said yes to that too. I couldn’t believe it. I was thrilled and so pleasantly surprised with his response. He said that he supports the adoption tax credit and so it made sense that he would support this as well.  As RESOLVE said to do, I closed the deal!

He mentioned that he has two children and what blessings they have been and wished us luck.  He asked about why people have infertility and the success rates of treatments, so I gave him some info on that.

Finally, I told him that Congress had asked the CDC to create a National Action Plan for Infertility, and while they did it and efforts were in the works, it was discontinued this month.  I asked him to please call the CDC and inquire about the status of the initiative.  He immediately asked an assistant to come in and asked them to write a letter immediately.  WOW!

Who knew that all I had to do was stand up and ask?  Of course, this is just one tiny step in the overall process, but it felt like a huge victory for me.

You can do this, too!

If anyone else has an upcoming meeting and would like to ask me any questions, I’ll see if I can answer them.  Also, if you hadn’t considered doing this for RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day, please consider it. You can meet your Congressperson in your home state at their local office. Go here for more info. While infertility robs us of control over our situations, it’s nice to stand up and take control for a change and win a few battles here and there.

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  • Awesome Whitney! I’m so proud of you…what an accomplishment!

  • I’m so impressed – this is great!!! Way to go, Whitney!!!

    After this amazing act, I bet you can get your docs to get along… 🙂

  • Nice work!!! I’m proud of you! 🙂

  • Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! Brilliant work and congratulations! You should be floating on cloud 9 if you aren’t already. Rock on!! 🙂

  • Congrats on doing this and glad it went so well! That’s awesome!

  • Heather

    Amazing : ) Very PROUD of you!! Not only did you stand up for yourself, you stood up for millions of others who are afraid.

  • WOW! YOU ARE AMAZING! It is just as important as the adoption tax credit! We were so blessed by it, and couples dealing with infertility need this break!!
    Great job, Whitney!! 🙂

  • Well done! What you did was amazing! 🙂

  • Wow well well done!! I’m stopping by for ICLW and wanted to say you filled my heart with joy this morning,

    Love, Fran
    ICLW #131

  • Wow, CONGRATS! This is awesome news.

    By the way I have nominated you and all your awesomeness for a blog award, hop over to my blog for the details!

  • Vesna

    Whitney,YOU ARE AMAZING WOMAN!!!
    AWESOME NEWS!!!!
    VESNA

  • That is just awesome, I am SO PROUD of you.

  • Great job, Whitney! Good on you for going to Congress and trying to get this passed.

  • Amazing work!! That’s great!

  • C

    That is amazing! Congratulations!!!!!!!!! I didn’t think there was much I could do for advocacy day since it’s in DC, but maybe I need to try and get a word in with John McCain and Jon Kyl.

    HAAAAAAAA. As IF – no pun intended.

  • Wow, so cool that you were able to actually speak to someone about this, and he’s now on board. Good work!!!

  • This is totally awesome – way to go!!!!!!

  • ebc

    WOW!! i am so very impressed!! i’ve advocated on capitol for other issues on about 7 different occasions–1) I rarely to never get a definitive answer like yes and 2) only maybe once have i gotten to meet with an actual member and 3) to get a member to commit to be a cosponsor. serious kuddos to you!! such a big difference you made by speaking up and speaking up to the people with legislative power!!

    (and thanks for the cowl compliment!)

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