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Fri Jun 17, 2016, 04:17 PM

Lawmakers Seek to Lift Ban on IVF Treatments for Veterans

Source: Associated Press

Lawmakers Seek to Lift Ban on IVF Treatments for Veterans


Veterans whose injuries have left them unable to conceive children may soon be getting long-sought help as congressional negotiations on legislation funding the Department of Veterans Affairs near a close.

At issue is a Senate-passed measure that would lift a 1992 law that prohibits the VA from paying for infertility treatments, such as in-vitro fertilization. The measure, by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., enjoys bipartisan support but there appears to be lingering resistance from anti-abortion forces who are opposed because IVF treatments result in the destruction of fertilized embryos.

Though the Pentagon covers infertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization for active duty personnel at seven hospitals, IVF treatments are banned for those in the VA health care system under a law enacted in 1992.

But thousands of veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with injuries to their sexual organs, spinal cords or brains that have rendered them unable to conceive a child, prompting veterans groups like the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans to press to lift the law. Murray has drafted legislation to permanently lift the ban but has been stymied in the Veterans Affairs Committee after Republicans indicated they would offer controversial abortion-related amendments.

Instead, the provision under consideration would lift the ban for two years and provide $88 million to fund the treatments over that span.

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Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/lawmakers-seek-lift-ban-ivf-treatments-veterans-39942135

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