National Organization for Women – NYC vs. VA and DoD

On Aug. 2, 2023, the National Organization for Women’s New York City Chapter (NOW-NYC) filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of New York challenging discriminatory eligibility policies of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other fertility services. The clinic along with the Yale Law School Reproductive Rights at Justice Project are counsel for NOW-NYC.

On March 8, 2024, in response to the lawsuit, DOD released a new policy removing its marriage and gamete requirements, which categorically excluded same-sex couples and unmarried service members from qualifying for IVF coverage. On April 4, 2024, following DOD’s lead, VA released a similar updated policy for veterans. However, the Agencies are retaining their requirements that service members and veterans demonstrate a severe injury or illness (DOD) or service-connected disability (VA) impacting their fertility in order to qualify for coverage. This onerous requirement will continue to prohibit thousands of veterans and service members from accessing medically necessary care. As such, NOW-NYC is continuing with its litigation efforts.

The clinic along with the Yale Law School Reproductive Rights at Justice Project are counsel for NOW-NYC.

Case Documents

Press and Media

“New Pentagon Policy Expands In Vitro Fertilization Options for Severely Ill or Injured Troops” Military.com, Mar. 12, 2024

“DOD, VA to allow IVF for unmarried people, same-sex couples and more” Military Times, Mar. 11, 2024

“VA, Defense Department end ban on IVF treatments for unmarried and same-sex couples” Stars and Stripes, Mar. 11, 2024

“VA to cover IVF for single veterans, same-sex couples after lawsuits” Washington Post, Mar. 11, 2024

“Pentagon to ease IVF access for service members, court document says” Stars and Stripes, Jan. 25, 2024

Clinic Lawsuit Prompts Defense Department to Partially Reform Discriminatory IVF Policies” Press Release, Jan. 24, 2024

“Military to cover IVF for unmarried couples, single troops and more” Military Times, Jan. 24, 2024

“Military members in same-sex marriages set for better coverage of infertility treatments” Federal News Network, Jan. 24, 2024

The VA and the Pentagon must end their anti-gay IVF regulationsStars and Stripes, Nov. 14, 2023

Clinics Sue Pentagon and VA Over Discriminatory Fertility Policies” Press Release, Aug. 2, 2023

Lawsuits challenge ‘discriminatory’ Pentagon, VA fertility treatment policies” Stars and Stripes, Aug. 2, 2023

Veteran Advocates Sue over 'Discriminatory' Fertility Treatment Policies at DoD, VA” Military.com, Aug. 2, 2023