Women Veterans

In recent years women have played an increasing role in our military.  Murray's Landmark Women Veterans Bill Signed Into LawIn fact, women make up fourteen percent of today’s Armed Forces.  Despite the increasing presence of women in the military, they remain a small minority at the VA.  However, the number of women using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care is predicted to increase dramatically in the near future. 

It is essential that the VA prepare for this influx of women veterans.  After holding several roundtable conversations throughout Washington state, Senator Murray was approached by several women veterans who expressed frustration with the VA’s lack of ability to understand and address the specific needs of women veterans.  The government needs to ensure that women get equal access to VA health care benefits and services, and that the VA health care system is tailored to meet the unique needs of women veterans.  That is why Senator Murray introduced the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act, which will expand and improve healthcare services for women veterans in the VA system.

Senator Murray led the effort to pass into law the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act in the 111th Congress.  This bill will require the VA to comprehensively assess the effectiveness of VA services and programs for women veterans and to submit a plan on how the VA will address the health care needs of women.  It will also require the VA to conduct a study on the health consequences for women veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Finally, it will authorize the VA to provide neonatal care, train mental health professionals to provide mental health services for sexual trauma, develop a child care pilot program, and staff each VA medical center with a full-time women veterans’ program manager.