Military bill expands IVF services to gay and transgender service members

(The Daily Signal) – A sweeping Senate bill would radically expand in vitro fertilization and other reproductive technologies for military service members without regard to their sexual…

(The Daily Signal) – A sweeping Senate bill would radically expand in vitro fertilization and other reproductive technologies for military service members without regard to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, promoting the creation of children outside of marriage, including between two men and their hired surrogates.

Democrats pushed for a unanimous consent agreement Tuesday, meaning, if passed, the Veteran Families Health Services Act would sidestep the normal legislative review process. Thankfully, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., refused to give unanimous consent.

In doing so, Lankford represented the well-being of families and children, rightly pointing out that this bill has been sitting in the Democrat-controlled Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for seven months without receiving a single hearing, markup, or vote since it was introduced. There is no existential crisis regarding IVF access for service members, so why should a bill that Democrats have not shown serious interest in be fast-tracked in Congress?

For a long time, the military has covered certain IVF and egg and sperm preservation services for active duty service members who suffered or may suffer an injury that leads to infertility. Military benefits have typically been restricted to the service member, his or her married spouse, and in some cases, their dependents. This radical act, however, would expand IVF access to nonmarried partners and women who serve as gestational surrogates, too. Instead of encouraging family formation, the Veteran Families Health Services Act explicitly promotes the artificial creation of children outside of marriage. Worst of all, federal taxpayer dollars will foot the bill. 

This violates the core tenet of the pro-family ethic. By encouraging service members to create children with donor eggs, sperm, or wombs, such IVF procedures will lead to an increase of children in same-sex and cohabitating households. When children are raised in cohabitating homes, especially when they aren’t related to one of their parents, the probability of sexual violence and physical neglect increases significantly. Our service members who bravely protect American interests abroad should not be encouraged to pursue parenthood in ways that harm children.

This act extends IVF and other reproductive technologies to vets and active duty service members “without regard to … sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status.” Such services directly undermine the family and use taxpayer funding to create, preserve, implant, and destroy embryonic human life. It even goes so far as to reimburse service members when they buy someone else’s egg or sperm. All under the alphabet soup banner of the rainbow flag.

If a man buys an egg, pays a fertility clinic to create an embryo using his own sperm, and then pays a woman to gestate and birth his child for him, the line between a legitimate fertility service and outright baby-selling dissolves. It is one thing for the law to allow such men or same-sex couples to use these services, it is another thing for the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to use taxpayer funding to pay for baby-selling.

Like other state and federal efforts to redefine infertility, the Veteran Families Health Services Act defines infertility as “a diagnosis of infertility; or the inability to reproduce or safely carry a pregnancy to term, including as a result of treatment for another condition.” This treatment for another condition could include the sterilization that occurs when someone undergoes so-called gender-affirming care. For example, if a woman has her reproductive organs removed or takes male hormones to present herself as a man and can no longer have a child naturally, she would be eligible for taxpayer-funded infertility services.

This also means that a man who can’t get pregnant (oh, wait, that includes all men) or a woman who cannot conceive a child with her female partner (yep, this is the same for all lesbian relationships, too) could qualify as “infertile” and receive taxpayer-funded IVF through the military. Infertility here is radically redefined to refer not to a physical deficiency but to a lifestyle choice.

The Veteran Families Health Services Act is not pro-family, and it is certainly not pro-life. The act encourages the artificial creation of children in unmarried and unnatural family formations. It is all about fulfilling the desires of adults at the expense of the children’s well-being.

Not only does this act encourage the dissolution of the concept of married families and the destruction of embryonic life, but it also grants the DOD and VA the right to facilitate research with leftover embryos. Such a provision violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from going to any research trials that may destroy human embryos.

The military has often been the Trojan horse through which radical reproductive technologies are normalized in American society. This should not be the case. We should honor the sacrifice and work of our service members and their families by standing up for the health and flourishing of married families. The Veteran Families Health Services Act fails to do this; instead, it encourages a culture of death and commodification of the most vulnerable people in society.