Speak Up & Be Heard: Infertility Advocacy Day 2012

Speak Up & Be Heard is one of my four guiding principles here at The Infertility Voice. It’s one of the aspects of my infertility journey that fuels me and keeps me going.

And that’s why Advocacy Day 2012 is a perfect extension of Speak Up & Be Heard, because it gives infertility patients the opportunity to participate in the larger conversation about their health needs in the most American way possible:

By heading to Capitol Hill and telling legislators directly that your infertility matters.

Get pumped, people: Advocacy Day is pretty damn incredible.

Advocacy Day: What Is It?

RESOLVE Advocacy Day

April 25, 2012

On Wednesday, April 25th, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association brings delegates from every state in the nation to Washington D.C. to talk to legislators and staffers about key infertility community issues. Those delegates are regular men and women just like you and me.

And this year? They want to bring DOUBLE the numbers to Washington DC as they did last year.

Why is Advocacy Day so important?

It all boils down to The Family Act of 2011. You do remember The Family Act, don’t you? It’s a tax credit bill that would provide Americans a tax-credit for out-of-pocket costs associated with IVF treatment. It’s been modeled after the very successful Adoption Tax Credit Bill.

Here’s why this Advocacy Day is so important: we are running out of time to get The Family Act passed.

The Family Act was introduced in the Senate last year shortly after Advocacy Day. It was introduced in the House in November 2011. As a bill in both the Senate and House, it’s carrying around some serious legislative weight.

But The Family Act needs your help. We are running out of time on the legislative session clock.

If the Family Act fails to pass this legislative session, it will be years before we could ever see legislation like this again.

How to Get Involved

RESOLVE has put together a pretty comprehensive Advocacy Day website. You’ll need to register ($10 if you’re a first-time attendee, free to past Advocacy Day goers) and of course take care of your own travel arrangements.

Don’t let travel & lodging arrangements stop you from going.

Because I’ll be honest – I’m committed to going again this year, but I have no clue yet how I’m getting down there. Luckily, I have friends in the DC area that I’m hoping I can crash at their place (Hi Nicole! Let’s chat…) and I encourage you to call in those favors to anyone who know who lives in the DC metro region.

Check out Bing Travel to secure the best flight deal. I will sing their praises if only because they helped me score $241 ROUND TRIP airfare from Boston to Santa Clara, California (where I’m headed next week). Check their fares every day and they give you a predictor of whether fares will increase or decrease and a percentage of that likelihood. I was looking at upwards of $400 for this recent trip purchase and scored a price nearly half that.

(Nope, I don’t get paid by Bing. In fact, that was the only time I’ve ever used Bing. And now it’s my go-to airfare source.)

Do you belong to a support group? A group of infertility bloggers? Consider going as a group to save on hotel costs and room together. Make it an Infertility Advocacy Day Road Trip and load up a van and head on down – or up, or east or west ;)

PS: Do you live in Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania or Tennessee? Or how about Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island or Virginia? Yeah, we totally need you there. These represent Key and Important States to getting The Family Act passed this year.

No matter where you’re coming from, we need you in DC on April 25th.

And you can also get friends and family to sponsor you. You can even approach your fertility clinic and ask if they’ll sponsor you. I’m putting this out there right now: fertility clinics of Massachusetts – I need a sponsor!

I’m working on a sponsorship proposal right now to a few resources in my area. If you’re interested in putting something similar together and need some guidance, email me. You can also reach out to RESOLVE for guidance on approaching sponsors.

I’m going to Advocacy Day. Who will join me in DC this year to speak up and be heard?

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    • Keiko says

      Yes! I can’t wait to finally meet you in person too. It’s such an amazing experience – I’ll be writing about it more in the weeks to come. I seem to remember you did AD at home in VA last year and had really great support from your legislators – let’s hope they’re just as supportive on 4/25!

  1. says

    It is an incredible experience. You leave there feeling so energized.

    I’m trying to make it this year. Juggling my schedule in order to get down there.

    • Keiko says

      I hope you can go this year, Mel. This is THE year to go: it’s do or die time on the Family Act and damnit, I want a tax credit for our eventually out-of-pocket IVF expenses this year! :)

    • Keiko says

      Sure thing, Lori. I’m pre-emptively offering my friend’s house (w/o having even asked her yet) that you’ve got a place if you need it.

    • Keiko says

      If you really want to go, I know you can find a way to make it work in your schedule. We need you there! :)