House supports key to ending ban on in vitro fertilization for veterans


House supports key to ending ban on in vitro fertilization for veterans

by: Travis J. Tritten | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: June 16, 2016

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers and advocates of in vitro fertilization were focused this week on the House, where lawmakers will likely make or break an effort to end on a 24-year ban on providing the procedure to wounded veterans.

Supporters scored a key victory when the Senate passed a repeal of the ban last month as part of the annual Department of Veterans Affairs budget bill. But senators on Wednesday began negotiations on a final budget bill with the House, where many conservatives still oppose allowing the VA to provide IVF because it could lead to embryos being destroyed.

Two wounded veterans and their wives, with support from the Wounded Warrior Project, made emotional pleas in front of the Capitol on Wednesday and urged House lawmakers to support lifting the ban on the procedure. Earlier this week, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which represents about 1.7 million veterans, sent a letter to lawmakers asking the same.

“Like I tell everybody, I’d rather stare my enemy in the face and get blown up again and again than look at the depression and how I failed my wife because I cannot give her the one thing she wants,” said Jeffrey Lynch, an Army veteran from North Carolina who was wounded twice during deployments in 2005-2008.

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