The Obama’s, Infertility, and Advocacy

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the recent interviews with Michelle Obama about her upcoming memoir. In it, she discloses the fact that not only did she suffer through a miscarriage, but that both Obama daughters were conceived via IVF. This has been a huge revelation in the infertility community. A President has been through infertility and his daughters were conceived via IVF. That is huge!

There has also though, been a huge backlash through the infertility community. Those crying out that the Obama’s should have done more to get IVF coverage for others. To get IVF coverage included in the ACA. To elevate the IVF visibility by disclosing sooner.

Here’s the thing though. They have and they did. Illinois has an IVF mandate. The ACA we see now is a gutted version of the one originally introduced. Not to mention, it isn’t any single person’s responsibility to disclose private medical information like that to the public.

Would it have been nice to know these details while they were in the White House? Absolutely. But we must remember, this is the same family that was dealing with death threats because a large portion of our country didn’t believe he was born here and that the family is closet Muslims. To say they had other things and worries to deal with on their plate is an understatement.

And all we have to do to see this in full display is look at the comments on the articles about Michelle’s upcoming book. Anger at her not disclosing, people commenting that it’s a private matter and no one cares, test tube babies, and of course, the implication that Michelle is actually a man and this is yet more proof of that.

Here’s the thing. If you are frustrated that Michelle waited until now to disclose she used IVF, and that she didn’t use her position to help the reproductive community, what have you done? The best part of being a US citizen is the fact that we live in a representative democracy. This means we can meet with our elected officials and tell them about legislation we want to see, or that is currently in the House or Senate that we want them to support and why. It is also OUR responsibility to exercise our rights and hold our elected Representatives responsible in supporting legislation that is important to us. And it’s easy to do. RESOLVE organizes everything for us, all you have to do is show up.

The single most impactful thing I have heard came from Senator Tammy Duckworth when she keynoted Advocacy Day in 2016. She reminded us that Capitol Hill is our house. All those Senators and Representatives? They work for us. It is our duty and our right as citizens to hold them responsible and to make them work for us.

So here is my ask. For every single one of you complaining, I will see you in DC this year, correct? It is our duty and responsibility to make the ask of our Representatives and there is no better way to do that then to show up. I’ve shown up and made the asks over the past 3 years and I’ve had bipartisan support for Bills for IVF for Vets. This past year I made the ask and my House Representative cosigned H.R. 5965: Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act. There is also one in the Senate, S. 2960: Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act. To get legislation like this passed, we have to show up and make the ask. That means we need you.

So stop complaining on Facebook about what the former First Lady should have done, and show up. Stop complaining about what others should do for you when you aren’t doing anything for you. It’s there for the taking, we just need the bodies to make the ask. I’ll see you in Washington DC for Infertility Advocacy Day 2019.

This post brought to you by an early morning Marco Polo chat with Candace, Kathy, and Brooke. FYI, if you haven’t used Marco Polo yet? It’s AMAZING. Here’s the rant that spawned this post. I figure why record a seperate video, when my morning rant perfectly encapsulates my thoughts. See the rant that inspired this post below!

2 thoughts on “The Obama’s, Infertility, and Advocacy

  1. Awesome post. While I have to admit I had the reaction of really? She waited for the book? I understand all the reasons why she may not have wanted to reveal it until now. For one thing, possible feelings about her kids and whether they would want that revealed. It’s not all about her.

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