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Republicans object to ‘morally dubious’ IVF being offered to unmarried and same-sex couple veterans

A quartet of Republicans want the Department of Veterans Affairs to explain a recent decision to offer In Vitro Fertilisation services to veterans who are unmarried or in same-sex relationships, citing “a plethora of ethical concerns and questions” raised by the announcement.

In a letter to VA Secretary Denis McDonough, Representatives Matt Rosendale, Bob Good, Mary Miller and Josh Brecheen call IVF — a procedure in which human embryos are fertilised in a laboratory setting and implanted in a woman’s uterus — “morally dubious” and say it “should not be subsidised by the American taxpayer”.

They cite the fact that IVF procedures produce extra fertilised embryos which must be frozen or discarded, a practice which fundamentalist Christians consider tantamount to murder, and call the Veterans’ Affairs’ policy “shocking not only on a moral level but on a political and legal level as well”.

“It appears that either the VA always had this authority and is responding to the appeals of activists or is possibly violating existing law,” they said, citing previous Democratic proposals to specifically enshrine IVF expansions into legislation as evidence that the VA programme is currently unlawful.

“The VA must focus on providing world-class healthcare and benefits to veterans, not trying to remake the nuclear family. We appreciate your attention to this letter and eagerly await your reply,” they said.

The right-wing representatives’ letter comes just weeks after the Alabama Supreme Court stoked controversy and outrage by effectively banning the practice of IVF in the Yellowhammer State, leading legislators there to pass legislation specifically allowing for the procedure to be practised there.