On January 17, 2017, Representative Jody B. Hice from Georgia introduced H.R. 586, the Sanctity of Human Life Act on behalf of himself and more than a dozen others “To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.” The bill goes on to state that “the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” The bill already has 23 co-sponsors in the House.
Just so we are clear, they defined fertilization as “the process of a human spermatozoan penetrating the cell membrane of a human oocyte to create a human zygote, a one-celled human embryo, which is a new unique human being.” They define human being as “each and every member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, beginning with the earliest stage of development, created by the process of fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent.”
Infertility patients and endometriosis patients (who make up 30% of the infertility population) this will have a DEVASTATING impact on your reproductive health care and choices if this bill is passed. Say goodbye to IVF. For those of you like myself, that have severe genetic flaws with your eggs or sperm, or if you have a chance at passing a horrific hereditary condition down to your offspring and need IVF with genetic testing of your blastocysts, FORGET it, these representatives don’t care. What does this mean for cancer patients and endometriosis patients who need to freeze their eggs and participate in IVF to build their families later on? How about patients who are experiencing ectopic pregnancies or missed miscarriages? This bill implies that you will not be able to get the medical treatment you need to save your own life.
What can you do? Here is a list of the co-sponsors. Call, call, call!!! Check to see if there are any representatives in your state and encourage friends and family to call.
Come to RESOLVE Advocacy Day!! There is no better way to advocate for infertility than to do it with your representatives face to face. Come to D.C. and share your story. If you are a young endometriosis patient who is not even thinking about fertility yet, come in solidarity for your fellow patients who are or advocate for options for yourself in the future if you need it. If you cannot come, help collect letters from people in your state in favor of supporting RESOLVES initiatives. A large pile of letters from fellow state constituents can be very persuasive. These representatives work for us and need us to stay in office. If they feel that a good amount of people care about this issue, they will care about this issue. For a quick easy action, sign this petition and let your representatives know you do not support this bill.
An American Activist, Maggie Kuhn stated:
“Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind--even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants.” --Maggie Kuhn
It is not easy to talk about our most intimate struggles and devastations. We may have experienced feelings of shame and guilt around these issues. This bill tries to dictate difficult choices that need to be made during our times of trauma, insecurity and fear. We need to be brave and share our stories and use our voice to let these men know that they DON’T know and they have no right to interfere.