Reps. Wasserman Schultz, Long Launch Bipartisan Family Building Caucus

Today, U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Billy Long announced the launch of a bipartisan Family Building Caucus to draw national attention to the medical challenges of starting a family faced by millions of Americans.
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) and Billy Long (MO-07) announced the launch of a bipartisan Family Building Caucus to draw national attention to the medical challenges of starting a family faced by millions of Americans.

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz and her husband faced infertility issues when she was 29, and thanks to in-vitro fertilization, they gave birth to twins and subsequently a third child without assistance. Today, she and her husband have three healthy, young adults.

“I know firsthand the importance of scientific advancements for families affected by infertility, and I have and will continue fighting to ensure that Congress sets aside vital resources needed to research and address this disease,” said Wasserman Schultz. “I am so heartened and inspired to join forces across the aisle to work with other lawmakers who share the same passion or experiences. I want to sincerely thank Congressman Long for joining me to launch this Family Building Caucus.”

“I am proud to be co-founding the Congressional Family Building Caucus,” Rep. Long said. “Just last week, a study in the journal Human Reproduction Update found that male fertility has decreased 51 percent since 1973. We should be working to build resilient families and addressing the significant fertility rate decreases is a major part of that effort.”

The purpose of the Family Building Caucus is to educate, advocate, and bring awareness to Americans who are struggling to build their family, and it will focus on a range of issues, including:
• Increase medical insurance coverage to include infertility diagnosis and treatment and access to assisted reproductive technology;
• Encourage OPM to increase options for federal fertility benefits;
• Provide help to military families seeking assistance to adopt or have greater access to infertility and family building services;
• Strengthen family leave policies; and
• Support the education of healthcare professionals about disease related infertility risks and options.

The Caucus will work with advocacy groups who are active in this space, such as RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and the Military Family Building Coalition, and Alliance for Fertility Preservation.

“All Americans deserve the right to build their family, yet today, too many barriers exist, even for our Veterans and those in the armed services. We can do better. RESOLVE is thrilled to see for the formation of the “Family Building Caucus” to build support for policies that will make family building easier and better. Our advocates across the country stand ready to work alongside the bi-partisan Caucus and its leadership,” said Barbara Collura, President & CEO, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association

“ASRM celebrates the creation of the Family Building Caucus and its mission to strengthen policies to help those struggling to build their families. Our members and their patients are grateful to Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Representative Billy Long (R-MO) for their leadership. We look forward to working with them both to advance family building policies,” said Sean Tipton, Chief Advocacy and Policy Officer, American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

"Americans universally agree in supporting the men and women who serve in the military and this new, Bipartisan Family Building Caucus will ensure that this includes supporting our troops to build their families,” said Ellen Gustafson and Katy Bell Hendrickson, Co-Founders, Military Family Building Coalition.

“On behalf of the cancer patients we serve, we are grateful to Representatives Wasserman Shultz and Long for establishing this important bi-partisan caucus to advance access to family-building care. Raising awareness about the reproductive and parenthood needs of faced by many young patients will protect and advance their ability to one day achieve parenthood,” said Joyce Reinecke, Executive Director of the Alliance for Fertility Preservation.

Next year the bi-partisan Caucus will be in full swing and will utilize combined resources and efforts to ensure awareness, education, and specific legislative intention is given to policies affecting American families and those struggling to build their families.

A brief description of the Family Building Caucus can be found here.