Dear Senator Barto,
I called your office a few days ago hoping to get some insight into your sponsorship of SB 1376, and exactly what the point is of the State of Arizona creating a registry that will impose criminal sanctions on reproductive endocrinologists to duplicate reporting of information that they already provide at the national level to the CDC (again, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, and the information you are requesting is different).
Since your assistant couldn’t provide me with access to you, I decided to peruse you website at nancybarto.com.
I clicked on “search our site”, and I’ll be doggoned if I could find anything showing your position on SB 1376 and why you think it is necessary for the state of Arizona to have information about embryos that are created under the care of doctors and patients aspiring to parenthood through assisted reproduction.
The reason I am interested, is because I noticed all Republicans are sponsoring this bill, and I am an Independent mostly Republican voting Catholic.
I am also the father of a formerly frozen embryo. I have a number of friends from support groups that enjoy the angst and joy of parenthood as a result of embryos created by IVF labs with the help of some of the most passionate medical professionals I’ve ever met, who get incredibly excited about every aspect of the reproductive miracle that our bodies are capable of.
My wife and I persevered through six years of infertility treatment. I had a low sperm count. My wife had endometriosis. It took a great deal of financial, emotional and spiritual energy to finally bring the baby God had for us into Lisa’s waiting womb.
So I ask you: how would this registry and legislation have helped us in our journey?
It is interesting that you quote the Declaration of Independence on your website under the issue of Protecting Life:
“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…”
My wife and I felt like prisoners of our own bodies when we were unable to conceive on our own.
Thankfully, God endowed our doctors with a passion for learning everything they could to help us, and now we are free from the chains of our infertility.
The happiness our formerly frozen embryo has brought us is the centerpiece of our life.
I would like to say one thing to you if you’d like to debate the statement “no one has the right to create embryos in a lab” (to quote your co-sponsor on this bill Kelli Ward):
I’m your huckleberry.
Hundreds of thousands of fertility challenged aspiring Arizona parents would also probably like to have a word or two about that statement
Heck, even the millions of couples across the country that are facing infertility this year might take issue with someone saying they have no right to create an embryo in a lab, which involves seeking out medical assistance, to pay for that medical assistance out of their pocket (since very few states mandate insurance coverage for infertility) and then to pray to God their efforts will pay off with a positive pregnancy test and then a full healthy pregnancy and birth.
I guess it goes back to that Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness thing you mentioned.
We want the happiness of being parents, despite the challenges of our biology.
We want the freedom to be able to pursue that happiness without some state legislature adding an extra hoop for us to jump through in the form of a bill that doesn’t even show up on its sponsor’s own website (please show me where it is. Maybe the search thingee just isn’t working?)
Hopefully, Senator Barto, this was all just a misunderstanding.
God knows that men and women trying to have a child with assisted reproduction have a passion for bringing life into this world that would appreciate the support of a compassionate conservative being…well…compassionate.
I would love to see you scrap this bill, and instead, consider introducing an insurance mandate bill for infertility. This would take the pressure off of infertility patients to transfer (embryos are not implanted by the way–we hope they will implant, but they are free floating in the uterus after transfer) more than 2 embryos and risk a situation where they even need to worry about the complications of a multiple pregnancy.
This would show your support for family building and score big points for the Republican party on what is arguably an important woman’s issue.
That would be the “right” thing to do.