Gretchen Rossi, a Real Housewives star who turned to IVF to conceive, is teaming up with New Jersey Senator and 2020 hopeful Cory Booker in a bid to make fertility treatment more affordable.
Michigan-born Rossi, 40, who grew up in California’s Orange County and has a net-worth of $3 million, has struggled with fertility for years, and was stunned by the complexity and expense of fertility treatment.
Since conceiving, with her boyfriend Slade Smiley, Rossi has been candid about their struggles.
And now, in a new episode of the syndicated TV show The Doctors which screens on Thursday, Rossi revealed she has officially partnered with Sen Cory Booker (Dem-NJ) to help promote his new bill, the Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act.
The blonde reality star screeched with excitement as she shared the news, flanked by Slade and another celebrity couple that has battled infertility: NASCAR star Kyle Busch and his wife Samantha, who are also joining the efforts.
Gretchen Rossi and her boyfriend Slade Smiley with Cory Booker, with whom they are campaigning for cheaper and more accessible fertility care
IVF can cost $15,000-$20,000 per cycle, though few conceive the first time.
The advent of IVF meant any woman under 42 could have a roughly 80 percent probability of conceiving in a year, and we can even screen embryos for genetic defects before they’re implanted, meaning the babies are healthy.
But past 35 years old, chances slim down, meaning most face much higher bills than they might expect.
And for women outside the wealthy hubs of New York and Los Angeles, where fertility clinics are plenty and varied, access to fertility care is tough.
Speaking to the hosts of The Doctors for Thursday’s episode, Gretchen held her arms up to the ceiling of the studio as she described a premonition from the Lord telling her to get into politics.
‘I was laying there and I had this premonition and it said “you’re going to go to Capitol Hill and you’re going to change policy, Gretchen”,’ she recalls.
‘And I was like, “wait, what?! I’m not sure I’m ready for this, lord!” Like, that’s a big, tall task.’
Co-host and OBGYN Nita Landry added: ‘You can’t say no though!’
‘Right?!’ Gretchen agreed.
She continued: ‘So, I woke up and I told him [gesturing to Slade] immediately, I was like “babe, we’re going to Capitol Hill and we’re going to change policy.”‘
Speaking to the hosts of The Doctors for Thursday’s episode, Gretchen held her arms up to the ceiling of the studio as she described a premonition from the Lord telling her to get into politics
The star has been seen at events with Sen Booker as he does his rounds to promote fertility access, but they had not formally spoken to work together. But Gretchen revealed that changed moments before arriving to record for The Doctors
Within days, she was sharing the calling on her podcast, and a week later, she explains, Samantha Busch and her team reached out saying they wanted to work with her.
‘We got on the phone, and we’d had the same exact premonition,’ Gretchen exclaimed. ‘We were like “oh my gosh, no I want to go to Capitol Hill, no I want to go to Capitol Hill.”
‘It was so exciting that we came together with it.’
The star has been seen at events with Sen Booker as he does his rounds to promote fertility access, but they had not formally spoken to work together.
But Gretchen revealed that changed moments before arriving to record for The Doctors.
‘Just this morning we were on the phone with Senator Cory Booker out of New Jersey,’ Gretchen said.
Slade added: ‘He is actively attempting to influence congress with changes in fertility care when it comes to insurance and having it covered. So we are doing everything we can as a group to jump on board.’