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H.R. 1681 (115th): Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 22, 2017.

Women Veterans and Families Health Services Act of 2017

This bill directs the Department of Defense (DOD) to furnish fertility treatment and counseling, including through the use of assisted reproductive technology, to a severely wounded, ill, or injured member of the Armed Forces who has an infertility condition incurred or aggravated while serving on active duty (covered member) or to the spouse, partner, or gestational surrogate of such member.

DOD shall:

establish procedures for gamete retrieval from a member of the Armed Forces in cases in which the fertility of such member is potentially jeopardized as a result of an injury or illness incurred or aggravated while serving on active duty; and give members of the Armed Forces on active duty the opportunity to cryopreserve and store their gametes prior to a combat zone deployment at no cost to the member. Fertility counseling and treatment are included within authorized Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical services.

The VA shall furnish such treatment and services to a jointly applying covered veteran and his or her spouse, partner, or gestational surrogate.

The VA may pay the adoption expenses (for up to three adoptions) for a covered member who is enrolled in the VA health care system.

The VA shall facilitate research conducted collaboratively by DOD and the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the VA's ability to meet the reproductive health care needs of veterans who have a service-connected genitourinary disability or a condition that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty that affects the veterans' reproductive ability.

The VA shall enhance the capabilities of the VA women veterans contact center to: (1) respond to assistance requests, and (2) refer such veterans to federal or community resources.

The pilot program of group retreat reintegration and readjustment counseling for women veterans recently separated from service is enlarged and extended.

The bill provides child care assistance to qualified veterans for: (1) mental health care services, and (2) readjustment counseling and related mental health services.