Sen. Murray hoping to help vets with infertility issues through new bill
PASCO, Wash. --Many wounded warriors are coming home from the battlefields suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. For others, losing the ability to have children on their own because of their injuries can be just as devastating. Washington State Senator Patty Murray, who is the Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee is sponsoring a bill she hopes to push through the Senate by September.
It's a bill that would cover infertility treatments for critically wounded veterans, their spouses and often times surrogates, so that they too can have a family. "I talked to so many young men and women who served us in Iraq and Afghanistan and have come home and because of IED explosions , and they have severe reproductive and urinary tract injuries that don't allow them to then have children," says Murray.
. The department currently covers a range of medical treatment for veterans, including some infertility care, but the legislation specifically authorizes the VA to cover IVF and to pay for procedures now provided for some critically injured active-duty soldiers. These treatments that can run about $12,000.
"Under today's law the VA will not pay for invitro-fertilization. These men and women have served our country, then they can't have children because of the injuries they received and I believe our country because we have the capability to do it, ought to at least give them, that ability," says Murray.
More than 1,830 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered pelvic fractures and genitourinary injuries since 2003 that could affect their abilities to reproduce, according to Pentagon figures provided to Sen. Patty Murray.