If you’ve been hearing more about fertility and family building efforts in your news and social feeds lately, that’s thanks in part to last month’s National Infertility Awareness Week. Held across the country in the last week of April, NIAW drew media coverage of families across the nation – detailing their efforts to grow and their struggles with the process. Labor Press readers in New York may even have seen the Empire State Building bathed in vibrant orange light to honor the cause.
But why the buzz?
It’s simple. A World Health Organization report released just weeks ago shows that 1 in 6 people among the global population is dealing with fertility issues.
Part of the issue is that fertility isn’t treated like other complex conditions. Your members can get help through their benefits for everything from diabetes to back pain, but when it comes to building families, current coverage is limited, restrictive, and often inaccessible for wide swaths of your member populations.
And, let’s be honest, it’s not something many members are comfortable discussing freely. There are significant stigmas still associated with fertility issues. A third of fertility issues are male factor. Some couples need genetic testing to ensure they’re not at risk for passing on dangerous conditions. And others are simply afraid they won’t be able to afford fertility treatments.
They can’t talk about it, and the current healthcare setup isn’t equipped to help them with it.
Here, labor can again lead the way. Family – and being able to care for that family – is inextricably tied to many workers’ desires for a fair, safe, and inclusive workplace, and offering members a better way forward for fertility and family building reinforces the values of equality and fairness at the heart of the labor movement.
So, let’s not leave the discussion to a lonely week in April. The struggle with fertility won’t, and neither will we.
Each month in 2023, Progyny will share information, stories, statistics, and educational content about the national infertility issue with Labor Press readers as we address this often-silent struggle within our ranks.
If you’d like to learn more about how to bring inclusive fertility and family building benefits to your members, check out educational resources, family building success stories, and more at progyny.com/resources.
Interested in learning more? Contact us: Stacey Hofert, Stacey.Hofert@progyny.com 847-372-9959 or Ron Abrahall, RN Ronald.Abrahall@progyny.com 631-294-2012
Ron Abrahall has held both elected and appointed union positions since 1982. He has served as a representative for the New York State Nurses Association, a former president of USW 9544, past President of BMFNHP AFT/ NYSUT, NYPD officer and a Neuro-Surgical Intensive Care RN.