VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls on Congress to Improve VA Services for Female Veterans

November 8, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), co-chair of the Post 9/11 Veterans Caucus, today spoke on the House floor urging her colleagues to pass H.R. 2452, the Deborah Sampson Act, to improve access and quality of care at the Department of Veterans Affairs for female veterans. This bipartisan legislation also addresses gender disparities at the VA to ensure that women veterans receive equitable care and services.

Video of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Speech is Available Here

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said:

“Female veterans represent the military’s fastest growing population with an estimated 2.2 million women, including 14,000 in my home state of Hawai‘i, who have served our country. Yet, when these women come home or transition to civilian life, they’re still facing a VA that was created by and for men, and is ill-equipped to understand and serve their unique needs. Women veterans have lower rates of access to the VA than men but face higher rates of post-traumatic stress, military sexual assault, unemployment, and homelessness.

“We have a responsibility to take care of all of our veterans when they return home and to make sure that they are getting the best care and benefits that they have earned and deserve. In recognition of Veterans Day, we must fix this and pass the Deborah Sampson Act to eliminate barriers and improve quality of care and services, and empower our female veterans alongside our male veterans. I urge my colleagues to pass this legislation to address the glaring gender disparities at the VA and ensure that our women veterans receive the services that they’ve earned and deserve.”

Background:

The Deborah Sampson Act will improve services for women veterans by:

  • Empowering women veterans through expanded peer-to-peer counseling, group counseling and call centers for women veterans,
  • Improving the quality of care for infant children of women veterans by increasing the number of days of maternity care VA facilities can provide and authorizing medically-necessary transportation for newborns,
  • Eliminating barriers to care by increasing the number of gender-specific providers and coordinators in VA facilities, training clinicians, and retrofitting VA facilities to enhance privacy and improve the environment of care for women veterans,
  • Providing support services for women veterans seeking legal assistance, and authorizing additional grants for organizations supporting low-income women veterans,
  • Improving the collection and analysis of data regarding women and minority veterans, and expanding outreach by centralizing all information for women veterans in one easily accessible place on the VA website.

For more information on Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s work for our military veterans and servicemembers, click here.

More updates and information from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard can be found here:

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