Image credit: Sara Wakai/DoD

November 26, 2018

Congress should enhance reproductive health care for women veterans

By Kayla M. Williams

The incoming 116th Congress will contain not only the highest ever number of women, but also a record number of women veterans. As they consider what issues to take on, expanding reproductive health care access for women veterans should be a priority: currently, women veterans do not receive equitable care on multiple fronts. Increasing their coverage goes beyond symbolic moves to change VA’s motto by providing tangible benefits.

There are three key areas requiring Congressional attention: in vitro fertilization (IVF), contraception, and abortion.

IVF – Infertility affects roughly 12 percent of married women, but VA’s medical benefits package specifically excludes provision of in vitro fertilization. Overriding this VA regulation, in 2016, Congress authorized VA to cover assisted reproductive technology for veterans and their spouses solely when a service-connected disability caused the infertility. As written and implemented, this authorization does not cover same-sex couples or veterans who are experiencing infertility for other reasons – including, for example, women who delayed pregnancy during military service due to previous policies that did not adequately support parenthood.

Read the full article in The Hill.

  • Commentary
    • Inkstick
    • September 23, 2021
    Don’t Ask Us to Serve

    Since the repeal of DADT, the lives of queer servicemembers have improved, but major challenges remain that threaten to undermine these gains and stall further progress....

    By Cody Kennedy

  • Commentary
    • Inkstick
    • September 17, 2021
    Closing the Gaps Between Servicemembers and the American Public

    We have been a nation at war — sort of. Due to the longest wars in American history being shouldered by a tiny percentage of the population, the vital civil-military relations...

    By Nathalie Grogan

  • Video
    • September 8, 2021
    Afghanistan Veteran Says War Might be Over for U.S. but Not for Afghans

    Jason Dempsey, an adjunct senior fellow of the Military, Veterans, and Society program at the Center for a New American Security, and a military veteran deployed twice to Afgh...

    By Dr. Jason Dempsey

  • Commentary
    • September 8, 2021
    Sharper: Afghanistan 20 Years Later

    The chaotic end to the war in Afghanistan bookends two decades in which America changed irrevocably. Thousands of soldiers experienced dual wars, and multiple generations of v...

    By Anna Pederson & Sydney Simon

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia