NIAW - Something to talk about

April 23rd, 2012

As National Infertility Awareness Week continues, we wanted to address some of the issues that are especially close to our hearts right now. It’s a great time of year to reflect on our industry, but more importantly, remind ourselves why we do this – help guide all participants in assisted reproduction through this often complex process. Why we are dedicated to providing the support and education intended parents, egg donors and surrogates need to make the best decisions for themselves.

I can’t help but take a step back this year to consider recent events and how they directly affect this same group of people - and others. I’m specifically reminded how deeply and directly recent assaults on our privacy and personal freedoms might affect many of us in the future.  It is awareness we all need to have, because it will affect all of us.

Generally speaking, unless these events and issues creep into our own lives, until they directly affect us or someone we love, we’re often blissfully ignorant of our culture being subjected to an erosion of personal privacy and freedom.  We might miss the fact that our ability to make thoughtful, independent and extremely private decisions on how to govern the most intimate and personal aspects of our lives is being threatened.

For good or bad, recent events have brought these threats to the forefront of national discussion. The recent protest of a planned fertility clinic right here in the Chicago area. Or legislative proposals that, if passed, might force women to have unwanted internal ultrasounds, or to get permission from their employers to have contraception covered by insurance. Or the so-called personhood amendment that would have a profound and far reaching impact on many of the personal decisions that women must make about their bodies from contraception to how they build their families.

We’ve always contended that debate is a necessary and important part of our industry.  It has led to important regulations, guidelines and the best practices that protect all parties involved and provide them with all the information and support they need to make the best choices for themselves.  But I think its important for all of us to recognize the assault taking place and how important it is to understand and participate in this debate – at the dinner table, on the Internet and, especially, at the polls.  We all need to be clear that what we’re truly talking is infringement on one’s right to make a responsible and well-informed decision about reproductive options. Who do you want making decisions about your body?