by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Orginally published in ASRM Bulletin Vol. 18 No. 24
At 3:00 am this morning and in the midst of a dramatic and hours long contentious sit-in on the House floor over the gun control debate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin to offer IVF services to wounded veterans. HR 2577, is a conference report to fund Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and related agencies and is a compromise between versions of the bill passed in both the House and Senate in the previous weeks. ASRM, working with RESOLVE and a coalition of veterans organizations, successfully lobbied those Members of Congress working to draft the compromise bill and urged them to retain the IVF provision, despite opposition from conservative groups with moral objections to assisted reproductive technologies.
However, the compromise bill also contains provisions to provide funds to combat the Zika virus, and Senate Democrats are raising objections that that funding is not sufficient - putting the overall bill in jeopardy. The Senate still must vote on the measure, the timing of which is unclear. It also remains uncertain whether the President will veto this bill. He has been adamant that he expects Congress to send him a bill to address the Zika crisis by July 4, and that emergency funds, not existing funds, be devoted to this medical emergency.
For now, we applaud this monumental vote in the House on legislation that ASRM has worked to advance for several years and will continue to work to ensure that this legislation becomes law. Thank you to all ASRM members who have communicated with federal lawmakers about the importance of this legislation--the House vote is a major step forward.
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