10 Steps to becoming an infertility advocate
Many states are in the middle of the 2021 legislative session and with that comes grassroots work on advancing insurance coverage for infertility care and cancer preservation. Now more than ever, your story deserves to be heard. Many states already have grassroots work started and simply need to hear from you. Sharing your story for this cause can move mountains. Taking part in these efforts can come in different forms, and many have shared their walk through infertility for the first time through legislative initiatives. Opening up can be daunting and overwhelming, which is why I am going to walk you through this process step by step! See below on how you can become an infertility advocate.
Your guide to sharing your infertility story
Step 1: Spend time with your partner deciding how much and what to share. This decision can be modified as you work through the processes to form your story. Crafting this is a unique approach for each couple; there is no right or wrong for what should be shared.
Step 2: Find the right time to sit down at your computer and let whatever comes to your fingers be the start of your sharing journey. Know that many emotions will come to the surface but don’t second guess anything that comes, let it out for the world to hear. They are your experiences and feelings, and they are valid. Deciding to share your infertility story can be one of the most challenging and healing decisions you make. Many individuals note that once they get the words to the paper, they are overcome with a sense of relief and healing. Don’t be surprised if you cry while doing this and need to take a break, this is normal.
Step 3: Seek out the current activity occurring within your state. The best way to do this is by reaching out to Fertility Within Reach or Resolve. These national organizations are aware of grassroots work occurring within your state. Many of these grassroots groups are formed on Facebook and can be found by searching terms such as “ (state name) Fertility Advocates”.
Step 4: Know that zero political and legislative experience is needed. These grassroots groups consist of constituents who are already advocating for legislation. They are a group of individuals just like you, often with no legislation experience but with fierce passion and a drive to make a change. They have come together to join voices, stories, connections, and research to create change and improve family building options in their state. It sounds just like you!
Step 5: Download the resource and toolkits from Fertility Within Reach and Resolve. They have developed ways to approach the legislative process, formulated tools kits, and provide a robust amount of resources to navigate you through this process.
Step 6: Follow the call to action that comes from your state’s initiatives. As your state’s bill works its way through legislation, there will be calls to action made that will require quick and timely action. Activities may be sharing on social media, using a template provided to send an email, and making a phone call to your district legislators.
Step 7: Have your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and everyone you know performs Step 6! There is POWER in numbers when a legislator’s mailbox is full with emails addressing the same bill. They will become curious and will not be able to overlook the issue. This step may occur multiple times during a legislative session and will need to have quick action taken.
Step 8: Consider taking part in providing a personal testimonial when your bill comes before a committee. Testifying will be a life-changing experience and one of the most empowering things you have ever done.! These typically are only 2-5 minutes and make a powerful impact on legislators. Know that crying is to be expected and completely normal!
Step 9: No efforts currently happening in your state? I encourage you to be the one to make this happen, no experience is needed at all other than your passion for sharing your story and helping others. Fertility Within Reach and Resolve will walk you through the entire process and become the best teammates.
Step 10: In addition to legislative efforts, you can work with your employer to add insurance coverage at your workplace. This typically involves reaching out to the individual who works in your human resource department. And you guessed it, Fertility Within Reach and Resolve have resources and programs in place to do this with you.
Also Read: 5 Ways to Share Your Infertility Story