Please Don’t Vote “Anti-Family” In Arizona

Hello all: I have been following developments around the country with legislation that continues to pop up and threaten family building options for many families, so I wanted to republish a letter that was used in the Arizona legislature to provide perspective.

The only way we can prevent this legislation from becoming far reaching and intrusive, is to add our personal voice and experiences to counter the scare tactics being used by ill informed parties with an agenda that reflects very little understanding of what is at the heart of medically assisted baby making.

As the father of a beautiful seven year old daughter brought into this world as the result of in vitro fertilization, and a practicing Catholic who very much values the sanctity of life, I would ask you as a representative of all that is “pro-family” in this state to oppose bill HB 2652-SB 1307 and HB 2651-SB 1306.

Although we were fortunate enough to get our miracle baby with our own biology along with the assistance of medical fertility professionals, we also ran a support group to help other couples achieve their dreams of parenthood through donor egg assistance and adoption.

What is particularly troublesome is that the bill characterizes egg donation as some sort of predatory biological purchase scheme aimed at taking advantage of low income undereducated women, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Donor egg treatment has been practiced for more than 20 years all across the country.  It is the standard of care for many couples, especially young women with premature ovarian failure and women who have undergone lifesaving cancer treatment including chemotherapy.  We recently had dinner with a couple that are happily exhausted from the trials and tribulations of their twin boys—a happiness that could never have existed were it not for egg donation.

I am very concerned as a person who is very pro life and pro family that this legislation will have the unintended consequence of preventing many eager couples who passionately want to have children from being able to pursue them.

The bill overlooks the fact that the egg donation process itself has the ability to reinforce the value of “life” within a woman’s biology; these women willingly put themselves through a regimen of egg withdrawal that may remind them of the miracle of biological magic that exists inside them.

I am also very concerned that vague language in the bill could put restrictions on embryo cryopreservation.  Our “poor quality embryo” was cryopreserved and ended up being our last chance to achieve parenthood.  Had cryopreservation been unavailable, I would not see my eyes looking back at me, with my wife’s chin and nose scrunched up at me in a disapproving glance when I’m being “too goofy”.

I would urge you to oppose these bills pending further discussion and open debate with the public and assisted reproduction professionals to clarify the meaning and intent of the bill and avoid the unintended characterization of your support as being “anti-family building.”

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