Eighty-two House Democrats introduced a bill on Friday to allow military medical treatment facilities to provide abortions to service members – even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Under the bill, the military would also cover the associated costs of the abortions.
Democratic Women’s Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Jackie Speier of California, Lois Frankel of Florida, and Brenda Lawrence of Michigan introduced the bill.
"If Roe is overturned, abortion will quickly become illegal in 26 states," Speier said in a statement. "Women serving in the military experience unintended pregnancy rates 22% greater than civilians, and many are stationed in states that will overturn Roe.
"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. The fallout for our service members and their families will be catastrophic, as is the threat to our military readiness, morale, and unit cohesion," she added.
"Abortion care isn’t a privilege, it is standard health care essential to one’s ability to determine their own destiny. One in four women in America will have an abortion in her lifetime, and 59% of women who have abortions are already mothers. Our brave service members deserve the same access to basic health care as the people they are fighting to protect.”
Defense One noted that under the 1976 Hyde Amendment military medical facilities cannot perform most abortions. The bill would repeal the amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding for abortions.
A companion bill will also be introduced in the Senate.
But 48 Republican senators are pledging to block any bill that would undermine the Hyde Amendment.
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., founder and chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, and his colleagues made the pledge in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
"We write to express our unwavering support for the Hyde Amendment and all other longstanding pro-life protections," the letter says.
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