Veterans unable to have children because of a service-related injury would receive $20,000 under a bill introduced to the House of Representatives on Monday. Rep. Jeff Miller, who proposed the bill, says the funds would help compensate nearly 1,400 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who suffered the "loss or loss of use of creative organs" in injuries to their pelvises, groins, or spinal cords, reports the Military Times. Others are infertile because of paralysis or a traumatic brain injury. Though the two payments of $10,000 are to be "used at the veteran's discretion," they would assist families in getting medical treatments like in vitro fertilization or paying adoption fees, says Miller, the Republican chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, per Sunshine State News.
However, Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat, says Miller's bill "falls far short of covering the care a veteran and their spouse needs to fulfill their dreams of starting a family," Murray says. Fertility services including IVF are covered for some injured troops on active duty, but not always for veterans. For example, Veteran Affairs doesn't cover the cost of IVF (about $12,000 per cycle) for the spouses of veterans. That's something Matt and Tracy Keil learned after Matt was shot in the spine in Iraq and left paralyzed from the neck down. "Finding out that IVF wouldn't be covered because we agreed to retire out so quickly, that was hard," Tracy Keil told NPR in February. "Don't tell me that his service wasn't good enough for us to have a chance at a family. Because we've already lost so much."