Resolve's Advocacy Day for Infertility

What It Is, Who Should Be There, Why It Matters

Capital Building
Yes, your represenatives do want to hear from you, and you can make a real difference. Tetra Images - Henryk Sadura / Getty Images

Every year in Washington, D.C., hundreds of advocates gather to fight for the rights of those with infertility. Advocacy Day is an event organized by Resolve: The National Infertility Association.

For a full day, all those that care about infertility and those affected by it can meet with their congressional representatives, share their stories, and advocate for those struggling to build their families.

Resolve schedules the meetings with your senators and house representative, provides training and support, and ensures all participants are prepared to make their voices heard.

Men and women from all around the United States travel to Washington, D.C. for Advocacy Day.

Who are these men and women?

Well, they are people just like you. Maybe it will be you.

When Is It? Why Show Up?

Advocacy Day is once a year in May. In 2016, Advocacy Day takes place on May 11th, with an optional Welcome Reception the evening of May 10th.

Travel and lodging expenses are not funded, so you will have to pay your way there. But the day’s activities themselves are free, and some of your expenses may be tax deductible. Be sure to speak to an accountant.

If you come to Advocacy Day, you will have a chance to fight for the right to better financial and health care support for those struggling to build their families.

By coming to meet with your representatives, you show congress that these issues matter to their voters.

The fact that you have traveled and taken the time to meet with them makes a huge impact.

You also put a real face and story behind the issues. No longer will family building bills be just ideas. They will be real people with real stories.

It’s an empowering experience.

Who Should Come to Advocacy Day?

Who is an “infertility advocate?” You could be.

Anyone can.

You should seriously coming to Advocacy Day if...

You’re in the thick of infertility.

Maybe you’re in the testing stages or deep in the treatment stage. Perhaps you’re just trying out Clomid or you’re about to start your third IVF cycle.

You should come to Advocacy Day.

While it’s true that fertility testing and treatment is expensive – and therefore traveling to Advocacy Day may seem unwise – it’s actually the very best reason to attend.

People like you are the ones that must show up and demand support.

Who knows... maybe your presence at Advocacy Day will trigger a chain of events that will lead to your treatments getting covered by insurance in the future.

At the very least, they will hopefully lead to others getting what they need – and they won’t need to go through some of the stress you have gone through.

Your infertility is resolved.

Resolved can be interrupted in many ways – it may mean you finally had children via treatment. It may mean you’ve adopted. And it may mean you’ve gone the child-free-not-by-choice route.

Whatever resolved means to you, you need to be there most of all.

First of all, you’re not trying to schedule your life between testing and treatments. That’s in your past. It’s easier for you to come than before.

(And yes, if you have a young child, that can complicate travel... but you can travel when that child is older.)

Second, imagine what a message it sends when survivors of infertility show up three, five, even 20 years after their infertility journey was resolved.

It says this is important. This is a life changing disease. This is a disease that pushes a person to advocate for years and years.

You’re a supportive friend or family member.

Advocacy Day isn’t only for those who have experienced infertility – it’s also for their friends and family members.

You can attend with them, or even attend alone in their place. It will mean the world to them.

You’re a fertility professional.

Who better to educate Congress on the medical and financial impact infertility has on not only individuals but the greater public?

If infertility testing and treatment were covered by insurance, you would be better able to treat patients.

Another big reason to go: legislation has more than once threatened to shut down or seriously limit access to fertility treatment.

Your career and business depend on legislative support.

You’re an adoption advocate.

Advocacy Day is about supporting those trying to build their families via a variety of paths.

That includes adoption.

You care about public health.

Infertility occurs when something medically goes wrong with the reproductive system.

It is a medical problem. While choosing whether or not to have kids could be called a lifestyle choice, not having the ability to choose -- because something is wrong with your body -- is not a lifestyle choice. It is disease.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding aren’t just “nice” things to experience. They actually confer health benefits. Women who have been pregnant or have breastfed have a lower risk of experiencing a number of health problems.

Getting pregnant and having a baby can actually protect a women’s health.

To be a healthy person is to have a functioning, healthy reproductive system. Fertility isn’t a superpower. Or a privilege. Or a “blessing.”

It is the core to life on this planet. And yet... most health insurance companies do not offer infertility coverage.

If you think infertility should be treated like any other disease of the body, you should come to Advocacy Day.

But What If You Don’t Know How to Advocate on Capital Hill?

No worries about that! This event is created for people just like you – those with a passion, who want to make a difference.

And… that’s all you need. Passion.

Resolve makes sure you are trained and prepared for the day. There is a virtual training before you come to Capital Hill, and then in-person training when you arrive.  

There’s also a very supportive Facebook group you’ll get added to once you sign up, where you can ask questions of those who have been there before, and connect with those coming for the first time.

Resolve arranges all your meetings, tells you what the issues are; prepares you to make your voice heard.

They are not going to throw you into the day unprepared.

Get more information or sign up at Resolve’s Advocacy Day website:

Get advice and inspiration from those who have attended Advocacy Day:

More on making a difference for infertility:

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