Sunday, June 24, 2012

LEGISLATION: New bill gives veterans access to in vitro fertilization

A bill introduced last week into Congress by Sen. Patty Murray would give veterans and their spouses access to in vitro fertilization services through the Department of Veterans Affairs for the first time.

In vitro fertilization is excluded from fertility services offered through the VA, but with a number of veterans facing injuries that can affect their ability to conceive, Murray, D-Wash., said in a statement for the Congressional Record that this service is part and parcel of caring for veterans when they come home.

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The bill, known as the "Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvement Act of 2012," proposes to expand reproductive treatment and care options for veterans and extends fertility treatments to spouses.

The bill also tackles other issues affecting women veterans by creating a pilot program providing child care to veterans seeking readjustment counseling and requires the VA to improve outreach to women veterans so women can better access VA health care and benefits.

And the bill requires the VA to facilitate more research on the long-term health care needs of veterans, including issues such as gender-specific infections and severe reproductive and urinary tract trauma in the battlefield.

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