WASHINGTON, D.C. – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)—a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years—today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announcement expanding coverage of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) for more Veterans by removing the marriage requirement and ban on donor sperm or eggs:

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“Because of the miracle of IVF, I was able to start my family and am a mom to two beautiful girls,” said Duckworth. “After pushing to expand IVF coverage, I commend VA—and President Biden—for taking action to do right by our Veterans seeking to start or grow their families while experiencing infertility.

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“Unfortunately, with the recent Alabama Supreme Court decision, many hopeful parents are wondering if they might be thrown in jail for trying to start the families of their dreams,” Duckworth continued. “It’s easy to claim to support IVF, but as the VA reminds us now, action is what matters to hopeful parents seeking to build a family with the help of IVF. We must pass my Access to Family Building Act to help ensure that every American, no matter their zip code, can feel safe knowing they can access IVF.”

Building on her previously introduced Right to Build Families Act, Duckworth introduced the Access to Family Building Actearlier this year which would establish a federal right for hopeful parents to receive IVF and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) services provided in accordance with widely-accepted and evidence-based medical standards of care, as well as a federal right for healthcare providers to provide this treatment if they want to. The legislation would also help ensure health insurance companies are not prohibited from covering IVF and other ART for Americans who struggle to conceive and rely on this treatment to start or grow their families. After calling to pass this legislation through unanimous consent last month, Republicans blocked it.

Last year, Duckworth also helped introduce the Veteran Families Health Services Act of 2023, comprehensive legislation that would expand fertility treatments and family-building services—such as in vitro fertilization—for servicemembers and Veterans.

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