Efforts Continue to Permanently Authorize IVF
By PVA National Staff
On August 18, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Julia Brownley introduced H.R. 8034, the “Veterans Infertility Treatment Act of 2020,” a bill aimed at addressing veteran infertility.
Similar to H.R. 955/S. 319, the “Women Veterans and Families Health Service Act of 2019,” this new legislation would make permanent fertility services at VA. H.R. 8034 would open Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), like IVF, to any veteran using VA health care. It would also repeal the ban on donated gametes and embryos, require reporting to Congress on services rendered, and direct research on infertility among veterans.
In addition to this legislation, language was included in the House’s MILCON/VA appropriations bill that would require VA to develop its own guidance on ART, consider inclusion of gestational surrogacy, and report on ART services provided by VA, including those who have been denied those services.
A blanket authorization for IVF and other VA authorized ART services continues on a year by year basis and funding would continue through the end of Fiscal Year 2021.
Other bills addressing veteran infertility include H.R. 2803/S.1461, the “Access to Infertility Treatment and Care Act,” which focuses on the provision of fertility preservation, counseling, and ART to those with iatrogenic infertility.
Also, H.R. 6142/S. 3424, the “Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020,” would authorize funding to improve maternity care coordination at VA; require listing of veteran status of mother in fetal death records and in maternal mortality review committees of pregnancy-related deaths and pregnancy-associated deaths by state; and give the authority for a GAO report on maternal morbidity and severe maternal morbidity of veterans with ethnic and racial disparities in material health outcomes.
We continue to advocate for legislation granting permanent authorization for IVF, but as this session of Congress draws to a close, we will likely have to continue to seek legislation permanently authorizing IVF in the 117th Congress.