For the past two years, I’ve headed to Capitol Hill to speak up for the infertility community, courtesy of RESOLVE. For a whirlwind 24 hours, I walked all over Capitol Hill spreading the message that infertility is a disease and that the needs of infertility patients matter. I got to meet my elected officials in person. Hell, I even got a photo with Senator Scott Brown. (Yes, he’s that attractive in person, political leanings be damned.)
Advocacy Day is so damn awesome that last year my mom even came with me.
This year, I can’t make it to Washington, DC on May 8th- I’ve got two advocacy efforts pulling me in two different directions on the same day; I’m chairing a fundraiser event next Wednesday in Boston.
That said, if you’re like me and can’t make it to Washington, there are still plenty of ways to get involved right from the comforts of home this Wednesday.
RESOLVE has launched a really neat way to participate via social media on Advocacy Day next Wednesday. Using a service called Thunderclap, you “donate” a social media status for the day. You can post to both Facebook and Twitter and what Thunderclap does is it auto-posts your message of support for you at a specific time. Signing up is as easy as connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts. How easy and cool is that??
Blog About It!
There are two big issues that advocates will be talking about at Advocacy Day: 1) getting an Infertility Tax Credit re-introduced into the 113th Congress and 2) passing the Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvements Act. If you can’t make it to Washington, there’s no reason you can’t use your blogs and social media to help raise awareness about these key issues.
The Infertility Tax Credit was aptly named the Family Act in the last congressional session. Had it not been for the fiscal cliff madness at the same time, we probably could have gotten it passed. Now we need to start over and get this bill reintroduced in the current legislative session.
The Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvements Act would improve the reproductive assistance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to severely wounded, ill, or injured veterans and their spouses, and for other purposes. This bill will also provide access to fertility treatment for seriously injured veterans and their spouses, adoption assistance, permanent authority for VA to provide child care, and other elements. Introduced into this legislative session by U.S. Senator Patty Murray, RESOLVE is working hard with advocates this year to spread the word to get this much needed legislation passed.
If you do blog about it, be sure to share your post over at The Infertility Voice Facebook Community and let RESOLVE know too!
Contact Your Elected Officials!
So you can’t make it to Washington… but that doesn’t mean your elected official doesn’t have a local office, too! Send your elected officials an email or give them a call. Tell them that you, as a constituent, matter. Tell them that infertility patients matter. Tell them that these two bills matter. The beauty of our elected government? They have to listen to you and actually respond.
And don’t be afraid to call their offices and actually speak to a staffer – every call is logged and your elected officials actually do like to hear from their constituents. It can be really empowering to actually talk to someone on the phone and advocate for yourself and causes important to you!
Are you going to Advocacy Day? Will you be advocating from home this year? Share in the comments how you’re going to raise YOUR infertility voice on Wednesday, May 8th for Advocacy Day!