Washington D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) announced that two pieces of legislation that she introduced to better serve the growing population of women veterans are gaining momentum with new support from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). IAVA has announced its endorsement of the Women Veterans Equal Access to Quality Care Act (H.R. 93) and the Building Supportive Networks for Women Veterans Act (H.R. 91).
“More women are serving our nation in uniform than ever before, so it’s critical that the VA is prepared to meet the unique needs of female veterans,” said Congresswoman Brownley. “I am so pleased to see these important bills receive the support from so many of our Veterans Service Organizations, including mostly recently, IAVA. I remain committed to ensuring these two bills become law.”
“IAVA applauds Congresswoman Brownley for her commitment to helping our nation’s veterans,” said IAVA Legislative Director Tom Porter. “In addition to cosponsoring the centerpiece of our groundbreaking She Who Borne The Battle campaign’s centerpiece, the Deborah Sampson Act, she has introduced important legislation to ensure that gender-specific services are available at every VA medical facility and to make permanent a program to provide retreat counselling for women veterans. Congress should act soon on all of these priorities to fill gaps in care for women vets.”
The Women Veterans Equal Access to Quality Care Act directs the VA to ensure that gender-specific services, including mammograms, prenatal care, and pap smears, are continuously available at every VA medical center and community-based outpatient clinic. The Building Supportive Networks for Women Veterans Act permanently authorizes the VA’s pilot program offering counseling and support for women veterans in a retreat setting to build trust and develop peer support.
In addition to IAVA, both bills are supported by the American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Fleet Reserve Association. H.R. 93 is also supported by the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA).
H.R. 93 is co-sponsored by Reps. Kuster, O’Halleran, Carson, Hastings, O’Rourke, Barragan, Lofgren, Moore, Tsongas, Thompson, Pingree, Lynch, Ruppersberger, Himes, Velazquez, Pascrell, Larsen, Lawson, Cartwright, DeFazio, and Schrader. H.R. 91 is co-sponsored by Reps. Takano, Kuster, Walorski, Higgins, Pingree, Rosen, Gonzalez-Colon, Correa, Costello, Sablan, Esty, Peters, Cleaver, and Pallone.