RESOLVE Storms Richmond
Posted by: Barbara Collura at February 17, 2012
Category: Infertility Advocacy
RESOLVE Press Conference on Virginia House Bill 1, February 16, 2012
|L to R: Barbara Collura, Marnee Beck
and Rebecca Flick
Our day started bright and early as we headed south towards Richmond, Virginia’s capital. We weren’t sure what to expect of the day. We knew we had an important message to share, but we weren’t sure who was going to be there to hear it.
Our plan was simple: hold a press conference in the House of Delegates Briefing Room. Share our position on HB1, and provide specific, detailed information to legislators on how this bill impacts people with infertility. We had been hearing from legislators that the bill actually “carved out” IVF and other infertility treatments and protected our constituents. We were disappointed to discover, after a thorough legal and medical analysis of the bill language, that in fact it did not protect the treatment of infertility. We felt we needed to let legislators know the facts.
When we arrived at the building things got exciting. We were alerted that the front page of the Virginia Pilot specifically talked about our message and featured Dr. Howard Jones, the doctor who with his late wife performed the first successful IVF in the United States….in Virginia! The supporters of the bill were disputing Dr. Jones in the article, and calling the claims of the infertility community a “smokescreen”.
As we awaited our turn to use the Briefing Room (a very busy place we discovered), the crowd waiting to enter the room kept growing. We thought perhaps we were in the wrong spot – were all these people coming to our press conference? We had put together an amazing team of speakers, Vicki Humphries and Whitney Anderson both diagnosed with infertility and Dr. Gianfortoni, a reproductive endocrinologist from LifeSource Center in Richmond. We were also told of the possibility of some Delegates and Senators attending the press conference and lending their support.
The clock strikes 11:00 a.m.; we’re on and the room was packed. One by one the speakers stood at the podium and spoke from the heart, presented the facts, and urged the VA State Senate to oppose HB 1. The media was there in full force, with the local news affiliates of ABC, CBS, and NBC present and a number of print and online media. They captured every word, and every tear. Yes, many tears were shed as the attendees heard from Vicki and Whitney, two very brave women who shared their story.
Here are some of their quotes…
Vicki Humphreys “Infertility is hard enough on your body, your marriage, your finances. I implore you the members of the Senate, please don’t pass this bill and make it harder for Virginians struggling with infertility.”
Dr. Gianfortoni “This bill effecting hundreds of thousands of Virginians and millions across the United States is scientifically flawed, medically flawed and is legally disastrous.”
Whitney Anderson “Remember me when you vote. Please don’t take away my right to the care I need and deserve.”
| L to R: Delegate McClellan and Barbara Collura
Photo by Whitney Anderson
Delegate Jennifer McClellan helped support our message that HB 1 is a dangerous bill for infertility patients and their doctors. She urged the Senate to carefully consider the unintended consequences for people with infertility, and to vote No.
Yesterday was a big day for not only the Virginia infertility community, but for all of us. We were able to put a face on the unintended consequence of the Personhood Bill in Virginia and we let the world know that people with infertility matter.
| L to R: Barbara Collura, Vicki Humphries, Whitney Anderson, Rebecca Flick and Marnee Beck
Photo by Whitney Anderson
To view the complete press conference visit this website.
You can read RESOLVE’s Press Release here.