Tester supports bills to expand reproductive care

Senator’s bills improve VA, military health care and family planning services

(U.S. Senate) -Senator Jon Tester is supporting two bills to expand reproductive health services to service members and veterans.

Tester’s Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act would allow military dependents and women enrolled in TRICARE insurance to access contraception without a copay regardless of where they live, just like women enrolled in private insurance through an employer or online marketplaces. The bill would also require military treatment facilities to inform every sexual assault survivor of the availability of emergency contraception.

The Senator is also sponsoring the Women Veterans And Families Health Services Act that allows the VA and Defense Department (DOD) to provide reproductive services, including in vitro fertilization, to service members, veterans and their families who suffered wounds of war that prevent them from starting families.

“All women deserve access to quality, affordable health care, and the quality of care shouldn’t be diminished for women serving in uniform,” said Tester, a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “These bills will help make sure that women service members and military families can access the same care as civilians, ensuring that we live up to the promises we make to them when they enlist.”

Tester helped author last year’s VA reform package and included provisions making it easier for military sexual assault survivors to receive treatment at VA medical facilities. The legislation also extended counseling and treatment to former Guardsmen and Reservists suffering from military sexual trauma.