Rules Committee Rejects Amendment to Cover Abortion Care for Raped U.S. Servicewomen
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 15:18
"It's despicable that after being raped so many of our servicewomen without adequate resources have to put their lives, health, and military careers at risk in order to access the abortion care they need." - Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation
Washington, D.C. (NAF) - This week, Representative Susan Davis (CA) offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 that would have allowed servicewomen who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest to receive military insurance coverage for their abortion care. However, today the House Rules Committee refused to allow the full House to even consider this amendment.
In response, Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation says "Women in the military put their lives on the line for our country, and they deserve the same access to safe, legal abortion care after sexual violence as their civilian counterparts. At the very least, the military should come into line with other federal health insurance programs, many of which cover abortion care in cases of rape and incest."
Unfortunately, rape is a very real threat facing American servicewomen. It is estimated that up to one-third of women serving in the military will experience rape or attempted rape during their service, and current law does not allow military-provided insurance to cover abortion care in cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
"Servicewomen rely on the military for their health care, but are left to fend for themselves after they survive sexual violence." said Saporta. "It's despicable that after being raped so many of our servicewomen without adequate resources have to put their lives, health, and military careers at risk in order to access the abortion care they need."
The House leadership's refusal to even allow a vote on the Davis amendment shows their callous disregard for servicewomen and the severity of sexual violence in the military.
The Davis amendment was co-sponsored by Representatives Rob Andrews (NJ), Diana DeGette (CO), Carolyn Maloney (NY), Loretta Sanchez (CA), and Louise Slaughter (NY).