The Legion’s longstanding support of IVF services

The Legion’s longstanding support of IVF services

The American Legion has long supported in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for women veterans in light of limited reproductive services available in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

The National Executive Committee (NEC) passed Resolution 16 at its meeting in May 2021 calling for VA to “support reproductive assistance services to include in-vitro fertilization for all veterans with a 50% or greater disability rating regardless of loss of function or reproductive dysfunction.” In 2016, the NEC approved Resolution 162, which calls for VA to properly fund an IVF program.

The IVF issue resurfaced recently when an Alabama court ruled that an embryo has the same rights as a child, which upset those in the state looking to use IVF for reproductive means. President Joe Biden followed that news during his State of the Union address when he told Congress, “Guarantee the right to IVF. Guarantee it nationwide.” 

Currently, there are multiple pieces of IVF-related legislation pending in Congress that are under review by The American Legion.

In addition to more inclusive IVF services, The American Legion has asked VA to provide reproductive care for women veterans, including access to women providers at all VA locations for women’s wellness exams, preventative care for gender-specific diseases and infections, and cost-free birth control options.

On March 11, VA announced it would provide IVF for same-sex couples and single veterans, extending the benefit to members regardless of marital status.

“Raising a family is a wonderful thing, and I’m proud that VA will soon help more veterans have that opportunity,” Secretary Denis McDonough said in a statement. “This expansion of care has long been a priority for us, and we are working urgently to make sure that eligible unmarried veterans, veterans in same-sex marriages, and veterans who need donors will have access to IVF in every part of the country as soon as possible.”

The American Legion encourages VA to continue improvement in creating environments that offer the full spectrum of services, including physical and mental health, without subjecting women to judgment, harassment or fear.