News Releases

Tonight, the House followed the Senate's lead and approved a legislative package that includes the short-term CR and Murray’s IVF provision

Provision allows VA to cover IVF for veterans for the first time since early 1990s when a ban on IVF was put in place

Murray: “With this legislation, now headed to the president's desk, we have taken a big step forward in righting this wrong." 

                              

(Washington, D.C.) — Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), released the following statement after the U.S. House approved a legislative package that includes the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 and the short-term continuing resolution (CR), hours after the Senate did the same. Included in the package is Murray's provision that allows the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to cover the costs of assisted reproductive technology for veterans with service-related injuries. The legislative package now goes to the President's desk.

"For more than two decades, because of an outdated ban, our country has denied veterans with service-connected injuries the one procedure that could help them realize their dreams of having children of their own," Senator Murray said. "On behalf of all our military families, I'm proud to say that with this legislation, now headed to the president's desk, we have taken a big step forward in righting this wrong. Our work does not end here. I will keep fighting to lift the ban for good and to make sure the VA has the guidance and resources it needs to provide fertility services to the men and women of our military who have sacrificed so much on our behalf."

Background:

After more than a decade of war, widespread use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and harsh deployment conditions have resulted in greater rates of genitourinary, blast, spinal, and brain injuries than in past conflicts, leaving thousands of veterans unable to conceive naturally. 

On April 14, 2016, Sen. Murray offered an amendment during a committee markup to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 to allow VA to offer assisted reproductive technology for the first time since the early 1990s, when VA was banned from covering the costs of IVF. Sen. Murray’s amendment was adopted 23-7, with the support of nine Republicans. Sen. Murray’s amendment would allow VA to use existing funds to cover the costs of assisted reproductive technology, of which IVF is the most common. Because the provision in the MilCon-VA bill would supersede, but not permanently repeal VA’s ban on providing IVF and would need to be reauthorized through the appropriations process, Sen. Murray will continue to push for a full repeal of the IVF ban.

 

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