House Democrats want to repeal long-standing federal protections for unborn babies and begin allowing military hospitals and doctors to do abortions.
American Military News reports Democrat lawmakers introduced legislation Friday to allow military medical facilities to provide elective abortions and force taxpayers to pay for them for service members and their families.
The MARCH for Servicemembers Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, would repeal laws that restricts military medical facilities and funding from being used for elective abortions.
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More than 80 House Democrats have co-sponsored the bill, including members of the Democratic Women’s and Pro-Choice caucuses, according to a press release from Speier’s office.
“Women serving in the military experience unintended pregnancy rates 22 percent greater than civilians …” Speier said. “Many also don’t have the luxury of traveling off-base, thousands of miles and for days at a time, to pay out of pocket to receive the care they need and deserve.”
She claimed that killing unborn babies in abortions is “standard health care” and should be available to service members.
Many prominent pro-abortion groups support Speier’s legislation, including Planned Parenthood, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Center for Reproductive Rights and NARAL, according to her office.
The Army also is considering a new policy that would allow service members to request a transfer to a state with pro-abortion laws, according to the report.
Speier said she believes her legislation is needed now more than ever after news broke in May about a leaked draft ruling that shows the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. If Roe goes, as many as 26 states may ban abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
“The fallout for our service members and their families will be catastrophic, as is the threat to our military readiness morale, and unit cohesion,” Speier said.
Her proposed legislation is not a new idea. Pro-abortion Democrat lawmakers have been trying to require military base medical facilities to provide elective abortions for years.
Current law in effect since 1996 prohibits the performance of elective abortions by Department of Defense medical personnel and medical facilities. A separate provision prohibits the use of military funds for abortions except to save the life of the mother.
When former President Bill Clinton allowed abortions in military facilities from 1993 to 1996, military physicians, nurses and other medical workers refused to perform or assist in elective abortions. Before the current law went into effect, the Clinton administration attempted to hire civilians to do abortions on military bases.
Legislation to allow elective abortions in the military repeatedly has failed in Congress, including a budget amendment that Speier introduced in 2016.
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