Democrats Press to Lift Abortion Ban in Military Healthcare

Wednesday, 05 Dec 2012 04:35 PM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Proponents of ending the ban on women in the military using their health insurance to pay for abortions in cases of rape and incest stepped up the political pressure on Wednesday, insisting that this year's defense bill be used to finally lift the prohibition.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., chief sponsor of a provision in Senate legislation, and two retired Army officers described the current law preventing insurance coverage as morally and economically unfair to the more than 214,000 women serving in the U.S. military. They promised to lobby the chief House and Senate negotiators to end the ban.

The Senate passed its version of the defense bill on Tuesday and now must reconcile it with the House measure, which does not include the abortion provision. Three of the four top negotiators — Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash. — favor lifting the ban.

Negotiations were expected to start this week.

In 2005, facing conservative pressure, negotiators dropped the provision. Shaheen said it won't happen this time.

"We are watching. The women in the military are watching. Women across this country are watching," she told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference. "This is a matter of equity, it's a matter of doing the right thing for the women who are serving in our military."

Lawmakers will have to decide the issue after a fierce election-year debate about women's rights and abortion.

Current law allows the Defense Department to provide insurance coverage for abortions only in cases in which the life of the mother is endangered. In May, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-10 for Shaheen's amendment to the bill expanding the coverage to cases of rape and incest.

"It is an indefensible law," said retired Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, who served in the Army for 36 years and was acting surgeon general for the service in 2007.

Shaheen pointed out that federal employees can receive insurance coverage for abortion in cases of rape and incest and even women who are incarcerated get coverage in cases of rape. The issue also is costly as enlisted women with less than two years of service make about $17,892 a year.

Retired Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich said the current law betrays the trust between the American people and those who serve "by providing our servicewomen with second-class health coverage."

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Sen. Mark Udall: 'I Absolutely Stand By' Call for CIA's Brennan to Resign

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 21:58 PM

Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan may have avoided losing his job over charges that the CIA spied on Sen . . .

US Forces Carry Out Operation Against Al-Shabaab in Somalia

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 20:44 PM

U.S. military forces carried out an operation on Monday against al Shabaab militants in Somalia, a U.S. Department of De . . .

'Time' Mourns Dwindling Numbers of 'Social Justice' Nuns

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 20:39 PM

A Time magazine article bemoans the stark decline in the number of "social activist" women religious in the U.S. today,  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved