February 11, 2015
KREM Staff | KREM.com
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would allow veterans who have suffered catastrophic injuries to receive reproductive services.
The bill, titled the Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act of 2015, would end the Department of Veteran Affairs' ban on in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and expand the Department of Defense's current fertility treatment programs.
This would allow the VA and the DoD to provide those services to veterans in hopes they can start a family. "The men and women who serve in our military put their lives and bodies on the line for our country," Murray said in a statement. "The least we can do is provide them with the health care services they need when they get home, including access to fertility treatments."
Data from the Department of Defense showed that between 2003-2013, more than 2,300 service members suffered reproductive and urinary tract trauma. Currently, the VA and the DoD offer some forms of fertility treatment and counseling to veterans, but officials said they often fail to meet the needs of seriously injured veterans.
"When we send men and women to war, we promise to take care of them when they return home," Murray said. "That's why I've introduced legislation to fill this shocking gap in care for our seriously injured service members and veterans" Senator Murray's bill would also provide access to fertility treatment for spouses, allow the VA to provide adoption assistance, and make the child care pilot program permanent.