Tester Backs Bill to Protect IVF for Veterans and Servicemembers

Senator is a co-sponsor of the Veteran Families Health Services Act to ensure veterans and servicemembers can access IVF to start or grow their families

(U.S. Senate) — Continuing his efforts to ensure Montanans’ freedom to make their own personal health care decisions, U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, is backing legislation to protect veterans and servicemembers’ access to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other family-building assistance.

The Veteran Families Health Services Act of 2023 would protect and expand the fertility treatment and family-building services that are covered under veterans and servicemembers’ health care, including IVF for veterans and servicemembers who are unable to conceive without assistance. Currently, the fertility treatments and counseling offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense are limited and difficult to access.

Veterans and servicemembers who risked their lives fighting for our country deserve quality health care options when it comes to trying to start or grow their families,” said Tester. “I will always fight to protect Montanans’ freedom to make their own health care decisions, which is why I’m fighting to pass this legislation that will protect veterans and servicemembers’ access to IVF and other critical family-building treatments. Montanans of all stripes don’t want the federal government telling them what health care they can and cannot access, and I’ll take on anyone looking to limit or strip away our veterans’ and troops’ personal freedoms.”

Yesterday, VA also announced its move to expand IVF to more veterans.

Tester is leading the fight to ensure that Montana women have access to safe and effective health care. As part of his efforts to safeguard Montana women’s access to IVF, Tester is a co-sponsor of the Access to Family Building Act, which would establish a legal right to access IVF and other assisted reproductive services, overriding any state effort to limit or ban such access and ensuring no Montanan is prevented from trying to start or grow their family. Tester is also a strong supporter of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would guarantee the right to privacy for women making personal health care decisions by codifying Roe v. Wade.

Last year, Tester sent a letter to Walgreens and CVS’ executives pressing the companies to take immediate action to ensure that all women, including those in rural areas like Montana, have access to safe and effective health care. Tester’s letter came in response to Walgreens’ decision limiting the sale of mifepristone and misoprostol, even in states like Montana where the medications are legal. Tester’s pushback was successful – after sending his letter, CVS and Walgreens announced they planned to become certified and offer mifepristone and misoprostol in states where laws would allow pharmacies to dispense it, like Montana. Tester has also signed onto bicameral amicus briefs calling on the Supreme Court to reject a decision that would restrict access to mifepristone.