I read with disappointment that the Family Act of 2011 bill died at the end of 2012, and must be re-introduced in the new Congress that begins in January 2013.
Seeing the sponsors, I noticed that less than 10% of the co-sponsors had an “R” next to their name, which seems contradictory to the “compassionate” part of the conservative ideals I thought the GOP stood for.
To be clear: I am a registered independent, but my Catholic upbringing has always pushed me to a more conservative viewpoint on political issues.
One of the things that the media spun a lot last year was an alleged insensitivity to women’s issues in the GOP platform. I am not sure that this image was ever overcome, and with the election over and the fiscal cliff taking the spotlight, women’s issues don’t appear to be on the political radar.
I know full well there are things that both parties are never going to agree on, but I can’t imagine by any stroke of my logical imagination how Family Building could be something that would not be a ‘step across the aisle and do what’s right’ kind of issue.
Nearly 8 million women and their significant others will face infertility this year. Most of them make deliberate choices contrary to their own biological clocks to ensure they are financially and career sound enough to have a child, only to find that not only is nature not cooperating, but the financial stability is evaporating with thousands of dollars of medical expenses inherent in fertility procedures.
I know this because my wife Lisa and I did the high wire balancing act of high tech fertility procedures and financial stability in our six year, $70,000 journey through assisted reproduction to finally bring our miracle baby into this world.
I figure the Republican party could speak to the needs of this women’s issue in one of two ways.
First, restructure our entire socioeconomic system around our natural procreative biology so that we can optimize our chances of having children when we are younger and more fertile.
That’s a pretty big one to tackle, I know.
So here is plan B:
Co-sponsor The Family Act of 2011. It would provide a tax credit of the equivalent of one IVF at a high-end fertility clinic, or multiple smaller fertility procedures, with a lifetime cap. A tax credit that could give some couple struggling with the emotional, physical and spiritual pain of infertility some extra breathing room. It would also help reduce the chance that they would want to push the envelope to increase their chances of success–which often means multiple pregnancies and all of the medical expenses and complications that go along with them.
Co-sponsorship of this bill could go a long way to building a family building bridge across the political divide. It would also show some sensitivity for an issue affecting millions of women every year.
Please, Honorable Congressperson or Senator: Do the right thing, and provide support for The Family Act of 2011 so that aspiring parents with the disability of infertility have the best chance at achieving success.
I know nothing in my life has been more rewarding than having a child, and I only wish we had some financial cushion when we were going through our infertility journey.
Looking forward to seeing more “Rs” next to the co-sponsors listed below
- Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY (Sponsor)
- Daniel Akaka, D-HI (Co-Sponsor)
- Daniel Inouye, D-HI (Co-Sponsor)
Mary Landrieu, D-LA (Co-Sponsor)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
- John Lewis, D-GA (Sponsor)
- Robert Andrews, D-NJ (Co-Sponsor)
- Charles “Charlie” Bass, R-NH (Co-Sponsor)
- Brian Bilbray, R-CA (Co-Sponsor)
- Bruce Braley, D-IA1 (Co-Sponsor)
- Judy Chu, D-CA (Co-Sponsor)
- Emanuel Cleaver, D-MO (Co-Sponsor)
- Steve Cohen, D-TN (Co-Sponsor)
- Rosa L. DeLauro, D-CT (Co-Sponsor)
- Michael “Mike” Doyle, D-PA (Co-Sponsor)
- Eliot Engel, D-NY (Co-Sponsor)
- Charles Gonzales, D-TX (Co-Sponsor)
- Al Green, D-TX (Co-Sponsor)
- Michael “Mike” Honda, D-CA (Co-Sponsor)
- Steve Israel, D-NY (Co-Sponsor)
- Walter Jones, R-NC (Co-Sponsor)
- William R. Keating, D-MA (Co-Sponsor)
- Barbara Lee, D-CA (Co-Sponsor)
- Zoe Lofgren, D-CA (Co-Sponsor)
- Nita Lowey, D-NY (Co-Sponsor)
- Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY (Co-Sponsor)
- James McGovern, D-MA (Co-Sponsor)
- Carolyn Maloney, D-NY (Co-Sponsor)
- Gwen Moore, D-WI (Co-Sponsor)
- Jerrold Nadler, D-NY (Co-Sponsor)
- Richard R. Neal, D-MA (Co-Sponsor)
- John Olver, D-MA (Co-Sponsor)
- Linda Sanchez, D-CA (Co-Sponsor)
- Loretta Sanchez, D-CA (Co-Sponsor)
- John Tierney, D-MA (Co-Sponsor)
- Edolphus Towns, D-NY (Co-Sponsor)
- Niki Tsongas, D-MA (Co-Sponsor)
- Christopher “Chris” Van Hollen, D-MD8 (Co-Sponsor)
- Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL (Co-Sponsor)