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RESOLVE advocates for injured veterans

RESOLVE advocates representing Washington state in 2017 with Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Sen. Murray spearheaded the IVF4Vets legislation for all of Congress. Photo courtesy RESOLVE

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Infertility affects both sexes equally.

It is a condition of the reproduction system that prevents the conception of children, and it affects about 10 to 15 percent of couples in this country. The diagnosis is usually given to those who have been attempting to conceive for a least one year without success.

To help military and non-military families, Barbara Eck founded RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association in 1974.

A nonprofit, its mission is to provide free or low-cost support and educational programs in local communities to meet the needs of women and men diagnosed with infertility.

"RESOLVE has over 280 peer-led monthly support groups across the country," said Annie Kuo, RESOLVE's Ambassador for Washington state.

The organization advocates on the state and national levels for healthcare coverage for infertility, medical research, adoption benefits, and access to all family building options.

"We are at the forefront of fighting state and federal legislation that would harm access to all family-building options," Kuo continued.

Those options apply to veterans, as well.

The recent fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the introduction of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and traumatic injuries, has led to an increase in combat injury-induced infertility among veterans.

"The Joint Theater Trauma Registry reflects the most common single cause of battle injuries is explosive devices," notes the Federal Register, "and this increasingly common trauma can have catastrophic reproductive results."

While medical benefits for veterans include numerous diagnostic and treatment services for infertility, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has experienced difficulty since the late 1990s providing to veterans in vitro fertilization (IVF) as one of those benefits.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) has argued that she wants this situation changed.

"As a nation, we promise our veterans we will take care of them after their service is over, no matter what," she wrote in a response to Veterans Affairs & Medical Medicine Outlook. "Yet for more than 20 years, because of politicians' personal beliefs, the VA has been unable to help wounded veterans and their spouses fulfill the dream of having a family."

RESOLVE determinedly advocates for that dream.

On May 15 and 16, the organization will again host the only federal Infertility Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

In so doing, attendees meet and talk with Congressional staff and members about the passage of the Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act (Senate Bill 700; House of Representative Bill 1681).

Kuo noted that individuals can go to in late April to sign a petition urging passage of these bills. "We will ask our members of Congress to support these bills to make IVF and adoption assistance for veterans a permanent program," she added.

"RESOLVE helps people struggling to build their families with community, support and information on their path to resolution. We are there for them."

For more information on RESOLVE and Infertility Advocacy Day, visit:

Go to to hear more from Murray.

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