There’s a 23-year-old law on the books that deems the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will not pay for in vitro fertilization for injured veterans. However, this law is being challenged by veterans and lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle, according to The Washington Post.
For veterans with spinal or genital injuries, this could mean a chance to have biological children that would otherwise not be there post-injury.
Previously, the Post said the IVF ban was adopted by the VA and Congress due to conservative opposition of assisted reproduction. However, now the practice is commonplace and has helped start many families. Veterans and lawmakers alike argue that the ban is outdated and should be overturned.
Another argument for the overturn of this law is the use of improvised explosive devices (otherwise known as IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan, which caused a litany of reproductive injuries for troops overseas.
The IVF procedure is expensive, costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, and also may take multiple tries. However, many veterans trying to start a family have paid for it with their own dime, taking on a debt and even skipping an education to work in an effort to pay for IVF. Many completely rethink their plans to start a family.
The Post spoke with Army Staff Sgt. Alex Dillmann, who became paralyzed from the abdomen down after a bomb blast during his time in Afghanistan. While Dillmann feels lucky to be alive, part of his life dream was to become a parent.
“But this is a big pill to swallow for all veterans facing combat injuries, which have hurt their chances to have children,” Dillmann said, noting that the upcoming round of IVF he and his wife will undertake will cost approximately $25,000.
Perhaps if Congress was more concerned about the men and women who serve this country, veterans would get the care they require and deserve. While we cannot yet help veterans get money for this treatment, the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates can help ensure veterans we work with can get the full amount of VA benefits they are entitled to receive.