VA approves fertility treatment for veteran couples
WASHINGTON — Disabled veterans hoping to start a family received a boost Thursday when the Department of Veterans Affairs began covering the costs of in vitro fertilization.
The policy change comes after Democrats in Congress pushed through legislation last year to temporarily lift a two-decade ban on the common treatment, which could now help thousands of veterans and their spouses conceive.
The new benefits will last until the fall of 2018 when the legislation expires.
“It’s a huge deal and it’s great because there’s some 2,000 people who have been waiting,” said Sarah Dean, the associate legislative director for the group Paralyzed Veterans of America.
Troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan suffered blast wounds to their genitals and spines that makes it difficult or impossible to have children without medical help. Conservatives in Congress with religious concerns over discarded embryos had long opposed covering IVF treatment, which involves collecting eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm in a laboratory.
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