Standing Up To Infertility Bullies


The past month has reminded me of how much I hate bullies.

I was a “little guy” in elementary and junior high.

I still have a yearbook from a guy in 7th grade that advised “You better get stronger or you might get hurt”.

The funny thing is, I just couldn’t hold back my anger at anyone that picked on someone who couldn’t fight back.

There was Howie in 7th grade English who spit in a girl’s hair

After class I thwacked him across the back of the head and ended up in the principal’s office.

Then there was the big jerk who used to throw basketballs at the back of your head during practice as you were doing a layup.

I pushed this guy into the coat room closet after gym, and then gave him a shiner in the ensuing scuffle.

That day I ended scrubbing profanity off the metal poles surrounding the school.

Last month I learned about a new bully.

This one came in the form of an embryo tracking bill that barreled through the Arizona State Senate.

On the surface it looked innocent enough.

But the power of this bully was in the details of the bill.

Fortunately I didn’t have to hit anybody to do my part to stop the embryo tracking bully.

I engaged in a verbal and written battle by writing letters, making phone calls, emailing the Senators every day and drafting daily blog posts in opposition to the bill that made it a criminal offense for any infertility doctor who DIDN’T file the proposed report to the Arizona State Senate.

I was thrilled to announce at the Arizona Walk of Hope just a little over a week ago that the SB 1376 bully was rendered unconscious before a final vote could be taken.

The knock out punch was delivered by a coordinated effort between Resolve, infertility doctors, infertility patients, and advocates for family building rights.

But bullies usual travel in gangs.

And SB 1376 has plenty of friends across the country.

These “friends” tend to start with trash talk by creating false impressions that embryos are being arbitrarily destroyed,  that some kind of black market exists for egg donation, and that IVF is leading to a devaluation of the family in the United States.

This trash talk has to be countered with intelligent and medically accurate facts.

Maybe delivered with a pulled punch to make ’em flinch.

I find it remarkable that with nearly 10% of the child bearing age population facing infertility these bullies aren’t soundly thrashed before they ever get these bills into any form.

But then again, when Lisa and I were in the thick of our infertility journey, I can’t imagine we would have had the emotional energy, much less the time, to mount an offensive.

That’s why the battle has to be fought by the veterans who know the value of infertility treatments…to protect all the aspiring parents from one more thing to worry about while they work towards their biological baby.

I don’t really think the anti-family building movement has the heart to stand in front of the infertility community face to face to explain why it feels such a compelling need to control or supervise embryos created with full medical consent, paid for from hard earned money, all for a best case 50/50 chance that we’ll get our miracle baby.

I picture Drago as the anti-family building powers that be, and Rocky as the infertility community challenging him:

“Maybe the only thing I can do is just take every he’s got.  But to beat me, he’s going to have to kill me. And to kill me, he’s gonna have to have the heart to stand in front of me.  And to do that, he’s got to be willing to die himself. I don’t know if he’s ready to do that. I don’t know.

Maybe it’s time to set that fight up.







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