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VA Spending Bill Provision Gives Injured Veterans Access To In Vitro Fertilization Services

Joshua Rappeneker

Congress has passed a Veterans Affairs bill that has a provision that would allow injured veterans access to in vitro fertilization services.

In 1992, Congress put a ban in place to prevent veterans from getting that kind of fertility treatment through VA health care.

With a provision to this year's VA appropriations bill, veterans will now have access to IVF. The President signed the bill into law last week.

Washington Rep. Rick Larsen and Sen. Patty Murray, both Democrats, have been spearheading the effort to overturn the IVF ban. Larsen said that for nearly 25 years, Congress stood in the way of veterans who wanted the same opportunity that most others have -- the opportunity to start a family.

"There are very few things as a member of Congress you can point to when you take action and say, 'You know that's actually going to help people,'" Larsen said. "And this is one of those times."

Because the provision is part of a larger spending bill, the ban could go back into effect in a year. But Larsen said that passing this temporary arrangement could make repealing the ban easier in the near future.

Both Larsen and Murray have said they plan to continue the effort to overturn the ban altogether.

A Seattle native and former knkx intern, Simone Alicea has returned to the Pacific Northwest from covering breaking news at the Chicago Sun-Times. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.
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