Abortion Coverage Expanded for Women in Military

By:  Dave Bohon
01/02/2013
       
Abortion Coverage Expanded for Women in Military

A late amendment added to the National Defense Authorization Act has dropped the decades-long ban on federal funding of military abortions for rape and incest.

Abortion advocates have won a significant victory in their efforts to make the murderous procedure available to all women at all times. In late December Congress dismantled the decades-long ban on the federal funding of abortions for female military personnel in the case of rape or incest. Since 1981, insurance coverage for abortion has only been allowed in the military under the context of saving the life of the mother. But under the Democrat-pushed provision included in the National Defense Authorization Act, women in the U.S. military will now be able to cite rape or incest to use their health insurance to obtain the procedure.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) introduced the abortion measure in late November, insisting in a speech on the Senate floor that is was unfair to deny women in the military access to “reproductive health care.” While the Senate unanimously passed the amendment in early December, the version of the Defense bill considered by the Republican-controlled House did not include the abortion amendment.

But a bipartisan committee that included Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), and Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) soon remedied the impasse, and on December 18 the committee presented a version of the bill with the abortion measure that both chambers quickly approved.

“With the inclusion of my amendment in the final defense bill, we’ve made an important step to restoring equity to military service women,” Shaheen exulted in a statement. “After three decades of a policy that discriminated against women who put their lives on the line for us, I’m proud of my colleagues in both Houses of Congress and of both parties who are going to allow us to right this wrong.”

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