Sara Jacobs: Why this MP freezes her eggs in her first year in office


But then life went beyond her plans as she embarked on a demanding career, first as a State Department official, then political advisor for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and finally as a member. of the House of Representatives for the 53rd Congressional District of California.

Jacobs is one of a growing number of women who step into positions of power and find they have options their predecessors never could have dreamed of for having children.

The empowerment of these women came in many ways, not only to further their careers but also in Jacobs’ case, to try and help shape the law around reproductive technology.

“Convention and most of the workplaces were designed for a time when it was the white man who worked, who had a woman at home who took care of everything else,” Jacobs said. “And so part of that is that we have to make sure that our workplaces and our institutions really reflect what life is like now, and that they are accommodating to people who have various types of home situations.”

And in recent years, women have broken down barriers to have families while doing their jobs. Two examples include Representative Elise Stefanik, who recently replaced Representative Liz Cheney as GOP House Conference Chair, announcing on Twitter that she has given birth to her first child, and Senator Tammy Duckworth, who became the first senator to give birth. during his tenure.
Now Jacobs, 32, juggles recess (which has been made more complicated by his party’s efforts to pass an infrastructure bill and a $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution) and back and forth between San Diego and Washington, DC – as well as the invasive process of its freezing its eggs between votes on Capitol Hill.

“I thought I had perfectly timed this for the August recess with things would be a little quieter and I would be home and I could go out to my community, but go a little easier. , that’s not what happened, “she said.

The process

Freezing eggs has become more popular in recent years. It relieves the pressure on a woman’s biological clock by preserving the possibility of getting pregnant later in life.

It is an invasive process. Jacobs is currently taking hormonal pills which she says make her feel like she’s reliving puberty.

Then, after two weeks, she began to inject drugs for two weeks and to visit her doctor several times a week. Once this process is complete, the doctors will harvest her eggs while she is under twilight sedation.

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It is also an expensive process. It can cost $ 12,000 to $ 20,000 for a single treatment cycle, which does not always produce enough eggs.

And that doesn’t include what women will pay later for the sometimes understaffed IVF like IVF, which can cost anywhere from $ 10,000 to $ 15,000 and doesn’t always take.

More and more women are starting to look to the process of delaying having children, including Jacobs.

While there aren’t many statistics available for 2021, a fertility care center that has multiple offices across the country called Shady Grove Fertility told CNN that new patients for egg freezing had nearly doubled in 2021 compared to 2020 – exceeding the growth of fertility patients by 2.5 times.

“I’m fortunate to be able to pay out of pocket to be able to do this,” Jacobs said. “But I think the most important thing is not to say, ‘Every person should go and freeze their eggs.’ It is that every person should have access to the full range of choices. We know that infertility does not discriminate based on socioeconomic status, only access to fertility treatments does. ”

Legislation to help families

Jacobs, who considers himself a progressive Democrat, is doing all he can to try to pass the $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution, because of his so-called “human infrastructure” proposals that would help working families.

The budget plan includes many family programs that President Joe Biden has championed, including the creation of a universal pre-kindergarten program for 3- and 4-year-olds and the extension of the new child tax credit.

He also calls for the creation of the very first federal paid family leave and medical leave benefit.

The budget resolution recommends reducing the price of prescription drugs, as well as adding dental, vision and hearing benefits to Medicare and lowering the age of eligibility for the program.

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The framework further calls for “historic” investments in affordable housing, as well as numerous provisions to tackle climate change, and outlines investments aimed at meeting Biden’s goal for the country of reducing carbon emissions. by 50% and for the electricity grid to obtain 80% of its electricity from emission-free sources by 2030.

“If we’re really going to have a fair recovery, if we’re really going to be able to learn from this pandemic and build the future that we all think we want, then we need to invest in the care economy,” she said. we have to make sure that we are providing families with the support they need to be successful, but also that we make those care jobs well paying jobs. “

She is also the co-author of a law called the Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act that would expand insurance coverage for the full range of reproductive and fertility health care.

“I heard a Democratic politician say once that we need to stop talking about issues that divide people and instead focus on things that affect people’s daily lives,” Jacobs said. “And then he went on to say, we have to stop talking about things like abortion, we have to stop talking about things like racism and we have to focus on things like infrastructure and health care, like if reproductive health care was not the predominant health care that I and most women, and most people, trans men, are dealing with right now. I think it’s important that we ‘Let us fully include in all health care reforms, health care overhauls, that we end up doing. “

Representative Sara Jacobs is injected by her sister-in-law as part of the process of freezing her eggs.

August holidays that were not

When Jacobs decided to go ahead with this process, she had no idea this summer would be so busy with the crisis in Afghanistan and a debate on infrastructure bills. But that’s what happens when you are a legislator making personal decisions.

Jacobs, who sits on two key committees – the House Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee – found herself in Washington in the middle of the August recess because work had to be done amid the collapse of the Afghan government.

Amid caucus calls, confidential briefings and other meetings, she found herself working while taking drugs that changed her body.

“The pills definitely make you feel like you’re reliving puberty. My body hurts. I feel a little bloated. I use Rent the Runway for some of my clothes here and had to do the bump friendly option. to make sure I had dresses that could fit over my swollen body, ”she said. “And you get kind of waves of emotion.”

But that’s what she signed with her decision to run for office.

“Part of that is making sure we’re pushing here in Congress to make this more accessible to more people, but also that we’re destigmatizing those conversations that people know even ask their doctors, which might be available to them,” and knowing that there are choices and that there are options for them and that there isn’t just one way to have a family, and that’s good. “


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