NEW YORK, NY — Today, Rhoda Smolow, National President of Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, CEO Naomi Adler and the leaders of 31 other American Jewish organizations sent a letter to Congress outlining the disproportionate impact of infertility on the Jewish community and urging legislators to support H.Res. 345. The bipartisan resolution, sponsored by Hadassah, calls for policies that will increase infertility research, improve treatments and expand access to infertility services.
H. Res. 345 was introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) April 28, 2023.
Among the 31 Jewish organizations joining Hadassah are A TIME/A Torah Infertility Medium of Exchange, Agudath Israel of America, B'nai B'rith International, Bonei Olam, Chava/Programs and Services for all Women's Reproductive Health, Coalition for Jewish Values, Hasidah, HUG/Hope Understanding and Guidance for Pregnancy Loss, I Was Supposed To Have A Baby, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Family & Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia, Jewish Fertility Foundation, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, Jewish War Veterans, Jewish Women International, NA'AMAT USA, National Council of Jewish Women, Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, Orthodox Union, Priya Kansas City, PUAH, Rabbinical Assembly, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Stardust Jewish Fertility Association, Tzedek Association, Union for Reform Judaism, Women of Reform Judaism, Women's Rabbinic Network, Women's League for Conservative Judaism and Yesh Tikvah.
Said Smolow, "Too many families, particularly Jewish families, feel heartbroken and helpless as they struggle toward parenthood. For decades, Hadassah's hospitals have been leaders in infertility treatment in Israel. We are grateful to our partners in the American Jewish community for joining us to ask Congress to support families by increasing the funding for research, care and access to treatment in the US."
"The possibility of starting a family should be available to anyone. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are affected by infertility, as I know from my own experience. We must have a better understanding of how infertility affects families and we must do a better job of supporting them," Said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. "This resolution is an important first step toward acknowledging and addressing those infertility struggles."
Several conditions that cause infertility are more prevalent in the Jewish community. They include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), cystic fibrosis and Fanconi anemia C. One in four Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier of a Jewish genetic disease, increasing the need for access to preimplantation genetic testing to ensure couples can have healthy children. One in 40 Ashkenazi Jewish women carries the BRCA mutation, which increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Hadassah has long supported the infertility treatments and research offered by the Hadassah Medical Organization in Israel, a country with the greatest number of IVF cycles per capita. Hadassah's hospitals are renowned for their infertility services, which they began offering in the 1960s.