Washington, D.C. (September 29, 2016) – Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the nation’s leading voice for the Post-9/11 generation of veterans celebrated the inclusion of critical approval for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide fertility counseling and treatment options, including in-vitro fertilization (IVF), to veterans with combat related trauma to the reproductive organs in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill passed by the Senate yesterday within their Continuing Resolution.
“This is a major, long overdue win for veterans and their families.” said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO and Founder of IAVA. “With this new option, veterans who want to start a family are no longer limited by archaic rules limiting VA’s ability to provide this type of treatment. Thousands of combat veterans now have hope for a new future. We now ask the President to quickly sign this into law and highlight the importance of this issue for our community and to all Americans. Starting or growing a family is critical for reintegration for many veterans and IAVA will continue to work to ensure these treatment options are available and that vets are not paying out of pocket to do so.”
Between 2001 and 2012, it’s estimated that 12 percent of the injuries sustained by service members include what is termed as genitourinary trauma, which includes injuries to the kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra, penis, and scrotum. For some, these injuries make it impossible to start or expand their family without medical assistance. As the law currently stands, the Department of Defense (DoD) is able to offer far more fertility treatment options than the VA. IAVA partnered with the Wounded Warrior Project, Paralyzed Veterans of America, The Bob Woodruff Foundation, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and other leading Veterans Service organizations and infertility advocacy groups to ask Congress to ensure that VA can provide the same options as DoD for veterans needing fertility assistance.
IAVA is the leading voice of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in Washington and communities nationwide. Led by veterans, our non-partisan advocacy work ensures that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families are supported, protected and never forgotten. Since 2004, IAVA has been a juggernaut in Washington, creating and driving the national conversation on issues ranging from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to women veteran issues to veteran unemployment. IAVA’s dedicated staff in Washington, D.C. leads this work, advocating on behalf of our members daily. We also train our member veterans to be powerful advocates for their community.
IAVA is focused on results and has delivered historic impacts. Every year since 2007, in an increasingly gridlocked political environment and with an extremely limited operating budget, IAVA has passed at least one major piece of groundbreaking legislation for our community ranging from the Post-9/11 GI Bill (2008), to the VOW to Hire Heroes Act (2011), to The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act (2015).
See IAVA’s Advocacy Program Digital Hub the full list of victories and to learn more about how you can help.
Note to media: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.