13 Nov 2019 RESOLVE ‘Night of Hope’ Celebrates Advocates for Infertility Treatment
I had the great pleasure Monday night, November 11, to attend the 2019 RESOLVE Night of Hope dinner in New York. The Night of Hope is the official awards gala and fundraiser for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, which is dedicated to improving the lives of women and men living with infertility. Each year, the organization recognizes organizations, companies and individuals who have made significant contributions to help alleviate the pain and stigma of infertility. Among the evening’s honorees were friends and colleagues Risa Levine and Susan Crockin. My spouse, Tommy, and I were honored to join Susan at her table, along with a number of ART attorney colleagues.
Risa A. Levine, a fellow attorney and long-time advocate for reproductive rights, received RESOLVE’s 2019 Barbara Eck Founder’s Award. Among her many efforts, Risa has worked to secure federal insurance coverage for infertility treatment and with RESOLVE advocating for The Family Act, a bill which provided a tax credit for infertility-related medical treatment. This year, Risa worked to ensure coverage for IVF is included in the New York State budget, which would provide an additional 2.5 million New Yorkers with affordable infertility treatment. Today, Risa is working to legalize compensated gestational surrogacy arrangements in New York State and to obtain full coverage for infertility treatment and family building options for veterans injured in the line of duty. She has served for many years as Chair of RESOLVE’s Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill and in 2010 chaired RESOLVE’s Congressional Briefing.
Our friend and colleague Susan Crockin received RESOLVE’s 2019 Hope Award for Achievement. Susan is the founder, in 1988, of one of the first U.S. law firms focused exclusively on adoption law and assisted reproductive technology (ART) law. In addition to her private practice, she is highly regarded as a teacher and researcher. She teaches domestic and international ART law at Georgetown Law Center and holds appointments as a Senior Scholar at Georgetown’s O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law and as a Research Assistant Professor at Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, where she is currently working to develop an inter-disciplinary Legal-Ethics curriculum for ObGyn residents and REI fellows.
Susan was a founding member of ASRM’s Legal Professional Group and the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys, is a former board member of RESOLVE, and a current member of SART’s Model Consent Committee. She writes for ASRM’s “Legally Speaking,” a column she created in 1990, and has published numerous journal articles, book chapters and three books, including, with the late Dr. Howard Jones, “Legal Conceptions: Evolving Law and Policy of the ARTs.”
Other Night of Hope honorees included renowned reproductive endocrinologist Richard V. Grazi, MD; neuroscientist Katie Lelito; reproductive endocrinologist and social media maven Natalie Crawford, MD; LinkedIn; Target, and ABC News, for its documentary series on infertility and family building, “Modern Baby.” All have fascinating stories; all are richly deserving. (Read more about them here.)
My firm, International Fertility Law Group, Tommy and I are proud to support RESOLVE and its work on behalf of people living with infertility. In 1989, when ART was still in its infancy, RESOLVE launched National Infertility Awareness Week (https://infertilityawareness.org/), a collaborative effort of consumers, legislators, advocacy organizations and fertility services professionals to raise public awareness about infertility and reproductive health. Since then the organization not only has provided resources and services for thousands of people, it has played a major role in elevating the issues of infertility and reproductive rights. As we wrote a couple of years ago, “assisted reproduction and reproductive rights continue to be targets of social and religious conservatives.” That statement could be written today, unfortunately, and the voices and tireless efforts of organizations such as RESOLVE remain as vitally important as ever.