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House OKs McNamara’s National Infertility Awareness Week Bill

[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The RI State House.

STATE HOUSE — The House of Representatives has passed a resolution (2023-H 6317) introduced by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) commemorating this week as National Infertility Awareness Week.

The week aims to raise awareness about infertility, the non-existent support structures, and the challenge those encountering infertility face. The initiative encourages sharing of infertility stories or reproductive issues to change the narrative and get the necessary support and make the journey easier.

“About one in every eight couples have difficulty getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy,” said Representative McNamara. “It affects men and women equally and doesn’t discriminate based on race, religion, sexuality, or economic status. Raising awareness about infertility is the first step in removing the barrier facing those who are trying to grow and nurture a family.”

Earlier this year, Representative McNamara introduced the Embryo Safety and Storage Act of 2023 (2023-H 5177), which would require the Department of Health to regulate and license embryo storage facilities.

“The unregulated and frankly shoddy manner in which many embryos are stored in medical facilities is appalling and has caused terrible heartache for families during an already emotional time in their lives,” said Representative McNamara. “This bill would require the Department of Health to regulate and license embryo storage facilities to ensure that these embryos are protected, handled and catalogued competently.”

In vitro fertilization, commonly known as IVF, is a widely used method of assisted reproductive technology (ART), which has helped an estimated 6 million couples in the United States who have trouble getting or maintaining a pregnancy to start families.

According to the findings of the legislation, “It is in the best interest of the people of this state to direct the Department of Health to promulgate rules and regulations governing the storage of human eggs, pre-embryos, and embryos in embryo storage facilities to guard against catastrophic storage system failure and the potential loss of such specimens that may result from long-term power outages during storms and other natural disasters.”


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Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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