Saturday, July 06, 2013

The Secret Club that No One Wants to Join

I met Senate candidate Karen Handel at an event yesterday.  At this point, Googling her mostly turns up links about her candidacy and about her having been an executive with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  However, one thing I had learned about her was what had happened when she ran for governor of Georgia. For those that don't know, Handel lost in a primary runoff to Nathan Deal, and one significant factor in this loss (since she had had a significantly larger percentage in the first election) was Georgia Right to Life throwing their support behind Deal.  One of the reasons they gave?  Handel not taking action to ban IVF.

But there's more to it than that.  Karen is one of us.  She and her husband, Steve, tried, including using treatments, for almost ten years and were not able to become parents.  And for that, GRTL called her a "barren" woman.

Those of you who know me in real life know that I am vehemently pro-life.  However, as I become active in political events in Georgia, I cannot and will not support any organization that wants to take away my ability to create life.  I will continue to support pro-life initiatives that do not interfere with IVF, but I will not support those that do.  Because, like Karen Handel, I have been there.

When I met Karen yesterday, the first thing I did was thank her for standing up for infertiles and explain why it was so important to me that she had.  Karen immediately hugged me and said she was sorry for that as we both teared up.  We understood each other.  We had never met before, but we understood each other immediately because of our membership in that secret club.  We talked about how that word "barren" gets used as an accusation and an epithet.  We talked about how it was hard to find people who could relate.  We didn't need to say the words, because we both understood, but it still helped to say them.  Because at the same time that you never want someone else to be a member of the club, it's still helpful to talk to someone that is.


  1. What an amazing woman! I'm so glad you reached out to her and voiced to her how she is making a difference in the world. You're absolutely right: no one choses to be part of this club. But it's because of people like Karen Handel that I sleep better at night. That people like her refuse to give in to the hate and bullying of others who chose to discriminate. Bravo to her and bravo to you.

  2. That's odd that you would say pro-life organizations would be against IVF. You would think they would support your right and desire to create life. Karen does sound like an amazing woman and it's great that you got to share your stories with each other.

  3. Alexis8:43 AM

    Just like you should have control over your own body and right to create life, so should all women-- whether for IVF or other reasons. I don't think anyone should be taking away control of a woman's body.