In a disappointing turn of events late last week, lawmakers in Washington D.C. dropped pro-life language from the defense authorization bill that would have ended taxpayer-funded abortion travel through the Pentagon’s abortion travel reimbursement policy.


Many pro-life lawmakers have called on their like-minded colleagues to vote against the defense authorization bill in protest of the latest compromise.


Leaders in both chambers are trying to pass this nearly $875 billion measure before the end of the Congressional session later this week, but passage is now uncertain.


The House and Senate each approved their own versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024, H.R. 2670, in July.


Lawmakers in the House included several provisions in their bill to limit woke social policies being pushed by the Department of Defense. Three important inclusions prohibited the authorization of funding for abortion travel, transgender medical intervention and DEI training.


The abortion provision would have ended taxpayer funding of abortion travel through the Pentagon’s abortion travel reimbursement policy that was instituted earlier this year. Under the new policy, the Department of Defense will pay travel expenses and grant additional leave of up to 21 days to get an abortion for service members and their dependents.


The House bill would have also prohibited the authorization of funding to be used for transgender sex reassignment surgeries and hormone therapy under TRICARE, the military health care program.


Finally, the House version would have eliminated “every office within the Department of Defense established to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).”


Unfortunately, while lawmakers were reconciling the two bill versions, these three provisions were cut from the final bill last week.


Now, pro-life House lawmakers are calling on their like-minded colleagues to withhold support for this version of the defense authorization bill.


At Focus on the Family, we encourage pro-life lawmakers to continue to advocate to protect preborn babies and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion through policy-making that respects life.


While we are uncertain what will happen with the defense authorization bill, as believers, we can know for certain what the Bible says about human life.


Genesis 1:27 states, “so God created humanity in His own image.” 


We know that all human beings are made in the image of God and that unique distinction as moral, spiritual, and intellectual beings begins in the womb. 


Preborn babies are uniquely human and worthy of protection under the law. 


And, at the very least, the federal government should not be using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion travel.


If you are a pro-life friend, pray that life-affirming policies will become the law of our land and that our country will embrace a culture of life.


Image from Getty.