The Family Research Council, which routinely maligns gay military service members, is now attacking a bill that would make it easier for veterans to access fertility services if they have been wounded in combat, claiming that it undermines “pro-life” principles.
The Military Times reports that the group believes the bill may open the door to “human cloning” and “3-parent embryos” and may aid treatments that lead to the destruction of embryos:
A prominent conservative group hopes to derail a congressional effort to give wounded veterans access to fertility services through the VA, saying it could lead to human cloning and three-parent embryos.
The Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council sent an email last week to congressional staff working on the final Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, voicing opposition to a provision that would require the Veterans Affairs Department to cover fertility services for former troops with injuries that cause infertility.
In the email, an FRC representative called the language in the Senate bill, penned by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., “terrible,” adding that it was “broad enough to cover reproductive technologies from IVF to human cloning to 3-parent embryos.”
“It does not have any restrictions on whether treatment would include the creation of human embryos, the storage of or freezing of human embryos or whether and how embryos that are left over would be destroyed,” according to the correspondence.
Roughly 1,800 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans received injuries to their groins, genitalia or spinal cords that make it difficult to have children without medical assistance, and while the Defense Department provides some advanced fertility treatments to these service members while they are on active duty, the VA is barred by law from doing so.
Since 2012, Murray has pressed her fellow lawmakers to cover fertility services for these veterans, most recently in a rider to the fiscal 2017 VA funding bill.
In the email, the FRC said the Murray provision “violates principles … which pro-lifers have fought to maintain for years.”