Senator Kelly, Gabby Giffords Pen People Magazine Essay on Reproductive Rights and IVF

Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly and his wife, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, published a personal essay sharing their personal experience with in vitro fertilization (IVF) and voicing concerns about the increasing threats to reproductive rights.  

“Our lives changed forever on January 8th, 2011, when a gunman opened fire at a Congress on Your Corner event in Tucson. Six lives were lost, many more were injured, and Gabby was shot in the head. Of everything that changed that day—both of us halting our careers, the beginning of a long, difficult road to recovery-–we also lost something we wanted very much: the opportunity to have a child together,” the couple shares. 

They continue, “These past few months, as we’ve seen reproductive freedoms increasingly under attack in the absence of the protections of Roe v. Wade, our hearts break for the couples who, all of the sudden, can’t decide for themselves how and when to start their family.” 

“Make no mistake: The freedom to start a family with IVF is under threat. […] Our dream of having a child together was taken away by a gunman. The dreams of Americans to have a child together could be taken away by politicians,” they explain

Last week, Kelly voted to advance the Right to IVF Act, legislation to protect and provide greater access to IVF through mandated insurance coverage. Kelly is also a cosponsor of the Access to Family Building Act, which would establish a federal right for Americans to utilize in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and other assisted reproductive technology. Senate Republicans have repeatedly blocked consideration of legislation to protect IVF treatment.    

“Growing a family is never simple, even in the best of circumstances. We know that. When and how to do it is among the most personal decisions anyone makes. We know that, too. The government, whether its politicians or judges, has no business making those decisions for you. They should be yours alone,” Kelly and Giffords conclude

Click here to read the full essay.