Senators Introduce Legislation Requiring Some Military-Funded Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 17, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Senators Introduce Legislation Requiring Some Military-Funded Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 17, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Earlier this month, pro-abortion Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced legislation that would lift the pro-life restriction on the use of federal funds through the U.S. military to pay for abortions. Specifically, their bill would allow the Department of Defense to pay for abortions for women in the military who are victims of sexual assault.

Under current law, abortions can only be performed at U.S. military bases in the very rare cases of preventing the death of the mother, or when the woman is a victim of rape or incest. All other abortions are prohibited.

In rape and incest cases, the abortion must be paid for by the woman seeking the abortion — and that’s what Boxer and Snow hope to change.

"Any victim facing the horror of rape or sexual assault needs every option and support made available to them," Snowe said in a joint statement with Boxer. "This bill removes a barrier under current law that prohibits the Department of Defense from providing access to critical reproductive health services for our troops."

But Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America said the bill would only ensure that women are "violated a second time."

"They show no regard for the evidence exposing the dangers of abortion to women, and that the small number of women who become pregnant through rape tend to fare better by giving life than by undergoing a violent procedure that takes a life," Wright explained.

Pro-life groups have long said the focus in cases of rape and incest needs to be providing medical care for the victim and making sure the perpetrator is brought to justice, rather than ensuring abortion is available or funded with tax dollars.

In a recent five-month review by the Air Force, there were 92 accusations of rape involving Air Force personnel serving in the Pacific from 2001 to 2003. Although some of the accusations were made by civilians, most of the accusations were made by servicewomen, according to the New York Times.

The abortion funds would also go to spouses and dependents of military personnel.

"Wrong assumptions make bad laws," Wright concluded. "If they pursue this legislation, hopefully they’ll perform honest fact-finding. They should let post-abortive women themselves speak to the damage abortion caused them, and how this legislation would add pressure to choose abortion over life."

Last year, House and Senate have previously defeated pro-abortion amendments that would have mandated performing abortions at military bases.

After the Senate approved the amendment in 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld warned that President Bush would veto the bill unless the provision was dropped from the bill. It was eventually removed.

Related web sites:
Concerned Women for America –
U.S. Senate –