The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) will now grant up to three weeks off and pay transportation expenses for servicemembers or dependent family members who travel to obtain an abortion. The new policy is an effort by the federal government to frustrate the laws of states that have ended or restricted abortion following last June’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
This is the U.S. government being actively pro-abortion.
The DOD’s action comes in response to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s October 20, 2022, memorandum directing DOD to take steps to ensure that servicemembers and their families are able to access “non-covered reproductive health care,” which is an umbrella term that includes elective abortion.
On February 16, 2023, Under Secretary of Defense Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. issued a memorandum to senior Pentagon leadership and other commanders implementing new human resources instructions and policies, which include the following:
Travel and transportation allowances may be authorized for Service members and dependents to travel to access non-covered reproductive health care. Travel and transportation allowances may be authorized when access to non-covered reproductive health care services is not available within the local area of the member’s permanent duty station, temporary duty location, or the last location the dependent was transported on Government orders. The non-covered reproductive health care is at the Service member’s expense.
In other words, DOD will pay travel expenses to send women servicemembers out of state to obtain elective abortions but won’t pay for the abortion itself. Currently, military hospitals can only perform abortions arising from rape or incest, or where necessary to save the life of the mother.
The new policy received immediate criticism from pro-life senators and congressmen on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, in a series of tweets, condemned the DOD’s action:
My concerns with this policy aren’t just about abortion itself; they’re about what signal this sends to military families—and especially military women—who choose to have children rather than prevent or abort them. That signal is not an encouraging one.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted: “Destroying innocent life doesn’t help women or strengthen our military.”
Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville told Newsweek that in response to the DOD policy, and to force a reconsideration of the policy, he will place a hold on President Joe Biden’s military and civilian DOD nominations that come before the Senate for confirmation. Tuberville called the expansion of DOD authority a “gross misuse of taxpayer dollars.”
SBA Prolife America applauded Tuberville’s stance in a tweet: “This new policy will facilitate the cruel deaths of approximately 4,100 vulnerable unborn children every year. Thank you @SenTuberville for standing in their defense.”
This new policy will facilitate the cruel deaths of approximately 4,100 vulnerable unborn children every year.
— SBA Pro-Life America (@sbaprolife) February 17, 2023
According to Military.com, at least 13 states that are home to about 240,000 service members have “trigger laws” that ban elective abortions in most cases, and six states – Oklahoma, South Dakota, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama and West Virginia – have total bans (which also have certain exceptions, such as to save the life of the mother).
The public policy of our nation, and especially of our military, ought to be to save the lives of preborn children, not facilitate their killing. Please pray for this terrible policy to be reversed and take action.
Contact your U.S. senators or representatives and express your opinion about this policy. You can identify them using this website. Or, if you already know who they are, you can call them using the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Photo from Shutterstock.