At Larsen’s Urging, VA Moves To Cover Advanced Fertility Treatment For Wounded Veterans
Washington, DC, April 20, 2016
Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) took an important step toward helping veterans who sustained injuries during their military service get access to advanced fertility treatments, as a result of urging from Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02. In response to legislation from Larsen, the VA announced that in vitro fertilization treatment is consistent with its goal to support veterans and improve their quality of life.
The Department of Defense already covers in vitro fertilization for active duty service members and retirees, but the VA is legally prohibited from providing similar treatments for veterans. In the VA spending bill last year, Larsen pushed the VA to analyze the prevalence of infertility among veterans returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today’s announcement is in response to Larsen’s language.
Larsen also introduced a bill, the Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act of 2015, to give veterans with service-connected disabilities access to in vitro fertilization and adoption assistance.
“The experts agree that veterans who finished their service to our country unable to conceive children because of injuries should get the care and support they need to start a family. The VA’s announcement today is a confirmation for veterans with service-connected disabilities that their sacrifices will be honored. Congress should act quickly to follow the VA’s lead and lift the ban on providing IVF for veterans so they can achieve their dreams of starting families,” Larsen said.
In its report released today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that more than 39,000 veterans would be eligible for IVF if the ban were lifted.