Congress, in the pre-Christmas rush, passed a Democrat-sponsored provision that will allow women in the U.S. military to use their health insurance to pay for abortion in cases of rape or incest. Right now, the Defense Department pays for abortion only when the mother’s life is at stake.
The expanded abortion coverage is included in the defense authorization bill that is on its way to President Obama for his anticipated signature.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who introduced the abortion measure, said that it was “unfair” to deny military women “reproductive health care.” The amendment repeals a policy that has been in place since 1981. Shaheen said under current policy, women who have been sexually assaulted, especially those posted overseas, “have been forced to seek unsafe and unacceptable alternatives to a safe abortion due to the funding ban in current law.”