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You Can Make a Difference!
by Barbara Collura, October 9, 2009
ad?vo?ca?cy (n.) the act of pleading for, supporting or recommending?
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association (RESOLVE) has been the voice for women and men diagnosed with the disease of infertility since 1974 by leading the charge through coalition building and grassroots advocacy activities. The progress made to date is not possible without the many volunteers who give their time, passion and voice to make a difference for themselves and others.
Our volunteers make it happen.
The Massachusetts Mandate
In 1987, the Massachusetts mandate was passed requiring insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. The passage of this mandate uncovered the need for RESOLVE to continue its work in advocacy to make sure that policy makers understood the needs of the 1 in 8 couples fighting the disease of infertility. By joining together, volunteers from across the state of Massachusetts showed the rest of the country how important it was to pass this mandate.
Fifteen years ago, hundreds of women and men from across the country came to Washington, D.C. to encourage legislators to support legislation important to our cause and participated in RESOLVE’s first Advocacy Day. To date Advocacy Day continues to make sure our voices are heard on the steps of the Capitol. Family building advocates continue to meet with Congressional representatives to advocate for federal coverage of infertility treatment and adoption legislation.
Alerts on Federal & State Legislation
In 1997, RESOLVE became a member of the National Coalition for Oversight of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (NCOART) representing the consumer voice on this coalition. In order to inform our community and family building advocates, RESOLVE launched its Advocacy Update which today is our online Take Action section at www.resolve.org. Supporters can receive instant alerts on federal and state legislation.
Legislative Victories in Connecticut and Massachusetts
In 2004, landmark legislation was enacted in Connecticut requiring insurance coverage for medically necessary infertility treatments and, in 2006, Massachusetts continued to lead the country by enacting legislation that expands health benefits to uninsured residents and includes infertility treatment coverage as a basic benefit. Both of these legislative victories were supported by volunteers.
The Family Building Act
Our work continues with a major piece of legislation currently introduced in this Congress. H.R. 697/S. 1258, The Family Building Act of 2009. The legislation requires insurance carriers to provide benefits for the highly effective ART treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). In addition, the bill does not confine eligibility for coverage within a certain age range.
Each of us has a responsibility to contact our legislators on both sides of the aisle and ask them to support this vital piece of legislation for the family building community. Add your voice to the community. Together we can make a difference and develop policy that works for those 7.3 million women and men diagnosed with the disease of infertility. Join our efforts! Sign-up today to receive RESOLVE's Action Alerts and send a letter to Congress so you can say you are a part of history.
Barbara Collura is Executive Director of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. For more information about RESOLVE and its advocacy efforts, visit www.resolve.org. If you are interested in being an advocate for infertility issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.