Activist: Forcing Military Base Hospitals to Do Abortions Just a "Sign of the Times"

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 17, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Activist: Forcing Military Base Hospitals to Do Abortions Just a "Sign of the Times"

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 17
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — A massive debate over whether to turn the approximately 250 taxpayer-funded military base hospitals into abortion centers is heating up in the Senate. But, the move to overturn the ban on abortions at the hospitals is nothing out of the ordinary for the president of Cecile Richards.

The president of Planned Parenthood calls turning the military into an abortion business like her own just another "sign of the times" in a Politico interview.

“It’s the recognition that reproductive health care for women is basic health care. The world has changed, and women play a larger role in the military. These are all very positive steps," Richards says.

The first step was when the Obama administration, in February, issued a new order for the U.S. military requiring all military hospitals and health centers to stock the morning after pill.

Now, pro-abortion Sen. Roland Burris is taking the next step. He attached an amendment to a bill in the Senate Armed Services Committee that received a 15-12 vote — with all Democrats supporting it except for Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who joined all of the committee’s Republicans in opposition.

“In the Senate, things are good,” said Richards. “The good thing is, this amendment puts the issue squarely on the table."

Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, told Politico that foisting abortion on the military is just the next step in the pro-abortion agenda.

“They’re using the military as a wedge and a way to implement their agenda,” she said. “I see them being very craven in looking to use the military to put the stamp of approval of federal government on abortion.”

“It’s particularly poignant and tragic that others are making the argument that these things can help keep troops in the field,” said Yoest. “We’re very concerned about it, and it’s something we will have to rally people against.”

Leading pro-life groups and their allies in Congress plan to fight the military abortion proposal on a number of fronts.

The first step is an amendment by pro-life Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi to remove the Burris language from the bill. The votes are not likely present for the Wicker amendment to be successful.

If the amendment fails, pro-life groups will probably urge lawmakers to support the planned filibuster Sen. John McCain of Arizona will lodge against the overall Defense Department bill containing the military abortion proposal because of its overturning the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Such a filibuster could derail the bill and its pro-abortion provisions and require lawmakers to start over with new legislation.

Should that effort fail, pro-life groups will rely on House members to fight the battle.

Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, the head of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, tells he will strongly oppose the amendment on the House side and he expects to defeat it there.

“Our military facilities should be a place of hope and healing, not intentional destruction of innocent human life,” he said. “This amendment will mean that as many as 260 military medical facilities worldwide will now be in the abortion business."

“We will stand very firm," Smith added. “I believe there will be an overwhelming vote in the House to keep our military hospitals as nurturing centers, not abortion mills.”

The House version of Department of Defense Authorization passed last month and did not contain language similar to the Burris amendment and Representative Ike Skelton, the Missouri Democrat who leads the Armed Services Committee, typically votes pro-life and is opposed to it.

Skelton may be called to lead the opposition to the Burris amendment in a conference committee run by pro-abortion Democrats.

The House has repeatedly rejected similar efforts in the past and, most recently, a bipartisan majority defeated an amendment by Rep. Robert Andrews to allow abortion in overseas military facilities by a vote of 237-191.

Shortly after President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he signed a memo allowing abortions at military bases but Congress eventually banned the practice by 1996.

Since Obama was elected, the U.S. government has moved swiftly to allow the use of U.S. taxpayers money to fund abortion groups all over the world by rescinding the Mexico City Policy first instituted in the 1980s; to enable China’s coercive population control program by funding the United Nations Population Fund, and; to roll back restrictions on funding for human embryo-destroying stem cell experimentation.

The Administration is also in the process of altering federal regulations to roll back the nation’s existing conscience protection laws that protect the rights and freedoms of healthcare providers (such as Catholic hospitals, physicians and nurses) who are opposed to performing abortions on personal or moral grounds.

And it hasn’t implemented the executive order that supposedly will stop some of the abortion funding in the health care bill, though pro-life advocates dispute that claim.

ACTION: Contact your senators at and urge them to vote to remove the Burris amendment and oppose abortions at taxpayer funded military bases.


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