I would like to offer up a suggestion to all of the Senators sponsoring this bill: vote NO on SB 1376, and come walk with us instead at the Walk of Hope in Scottsdale on March 23rd.
Here is a brief description of the event by Ruth Abraham, Chair of the 2013 Walk of Hope:
The name “Walk of Hope” embodies the emotion that people living with infertility feel. They are hopeful their dreams of family come true, or some hope to find a peaceful resolution to their infertility journey.
The Walk of Hope is an even that represents the infertility journey–a series of small steps, each one filled with hope and a reminder that no one should walk on this journey alone.
Since there appear to be so many questions about what goes on in infertility clinics and with infertility patients at the heart of why the bill was drafted, what better way to get an idea than to be with a group of a couple of hundred people who are infertility specialists, infertility patients, family of infertility patients, or former infertility patients who resolved their journey and want to pay it forward by supporting those on the journey now?
I know I was reluctant to even attend a support group meeting during our infertility years, and I had my own preconceived notions about the infertility industry.
Once I actually educated myself at support group meetings, learned the reasons for the protocols of each infertility treatment by attending the consults with my wife, began to ask the doctors questions, and learned to be an advocate for our medically assisted journey to parenthood, I realized how ignorant and judgmental I had been.
I referenced an exchange between Dr. Larsen, an RE who testified on February 20th in opposition and Senator Barto, who warned Dr. Larsen not to impose motives on the authors of SB 1376 on the blog yesterday.
After pondering Senator Barto’s words, I guess it is unfair to try to guess what might be motivating the Senator’s support of the SB 1376.
Brennan Manning, in The Wisdom of Tenderness: What Happens When God’s Fierce Mercy Transforms Our Lives, explains the futility of assigning motives: “None of us has ever seen a motive. Therefore, we don’t know we can’t do anything more than suspect what inspires the action of another. For this good and valid reason, we’re told not to judge.”
So let’s come to a middle ground, and rather than us questioning your motives for this bill, let’s discuss them in an open, public place.
Rather than questioning the motives of the infertility industry and the patients that seek out its assistance, you can ask members of the infertility industry in Arizona and their patients seeking out the treatment you are concerned about what their motives are for practicing or seeking out infertility treatment in an open forum.
I’ll be there with my wife and our formerly frozen fertilized egg (see–I corrected myself!)–or zygote, or blastocyst–depending on how scientifically accurate you want to be.
Maybe we will find some common ground and gain insight about our respective motives for bringing more life into this world and building families with assisted reproductive technology.
Perhaps we’ll end up walking side by side with differing viewpoints, rather than staying on opposing sides questioning unknown motives.