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A Birdseye View of the State of the Union

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March 10, 2024

Kate Farley, 35, who happens to be the wife of Westchester County Legislator and Irvington native David Imamura, got a personal invitation from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Thursday night. Reason for the invite: Kate is 37 weeks along in a second pregnancy, thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF). Though she has been able to get pregnant easily enough, Kate kept suffering from miscarriages because of a pre-existing genetic condition, and in vitro was the best way around that.

As a First Amendment and media lawyer, Kate is all too familiar with the country’s current level of political partisanship, so she was pleasantly surprised to see signs that, at least for protecting IVF, a bipartisan solution seemed possible.

She was not the only in vitro mother in the House balcony that night; nor was she singled out by the President in that part of his speech in which he lambasted Republicans for their  reproductive rights policies. But there were people in the audience–and on the floor–who showed support for legislation guaranteeing women access to the procedure. “The main thing I took away,” said Kate afterwards, “was that this can be done.”

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At a press conference after the speech, her host, Senator Schumer, surprised her by inviting her to speak “which I was not expecting,” she confessed. She took the opportunity to observe that one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, a key argument in favor of supporting in vitro fertilization as a way of assuring that embryos have a chance to become healthy babies. “NBC in Chicago played me,” she added as an aside, “and that was cool.”

As for the State of the Union and Congress’s reactions to it,” Kate took away several impressions: she was “pleasantly surprised by the diversity on the Democratic side;” her “overall impression of Republicans was that they were sullen–like kids in detention.” She was impressed by Biden, describing him as “vibrant” and “on top of his stuff.”

As for her second child, her doctor estimated a due date of March 24–maybe sooner.



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