Military service women could gain from the efforts of our dear American Congress in the (unfortunately) controversial Defense Authorization Act. This bill has garnered much attention because it would, if passed , repeal the repugnant Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. What many don’t know however, is the bill also contains provisions pertaining to women’s health. Specifically, abortion care.
If the bill were to pass as is, it would enable military hospitals to provide abortion services and care for women and families who chose to pay for such services with their own money.
With their own money. Once again: with their own money.
But even this isn’t enough to shut the anti-choicers up. They think allowing women in the military the choice to make their own reproductive decisions is akin to the federal government funding abortions. Even when the provision specifically states the abortion services are not covered, that those obtaining such care would be required to pay the entire charge out of their own pocket. As Jezebel notes, the National Right to Life Committee considers the provision a mandate to offer abortion care.
Never mind that it isn’t. After extreme pressure from anti-choice members of Congress, an amendment was added to the bill to remove that choice for women.
Upon hearing the National Right to Life’s complaint, Veterans’ Affairs Committee chair Rep. Bob Filner removed the women’s health provisions and is bringing the bill up to vote. I fear that much like the healthcare debate and subsequent bill, a woman’s right to chose will be sacrificed for what many considered the greater good.
For certain, the Pro-Choice Caucus has not released an official response to Filner’s removal of the provisions and perhaps they won’t. Even if they do manage to raise a fight, the current leaders and powers that be will most certainly argue that he bill won’t pass with the provisions in tact, and I suspect the provisions will remain absent.
How tragic it is, that the disingenuous voices in this country drive such immediate action while the resolute and honest voices, those standing for reproductive justice, choice and freedom are trod upon over and over.