Abortion Coverage for Peace Corps Volunteers Moves Ahead in Congress

National   |   Josh Brahm   |   Jun 25, 2014   |   3:11PM   |   Washington, DC

The Huffington Post reports that the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved by voice vote an amendment that will extend abortion coverage to Peace Corps volunteers.

From the report:

peacecorpslogoThe GOP-controlled committee blocked the abortion coverage provision last year after the Senate tried to include it in the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill. But no Republicans spoke out against the measure on Tuesday at a committee mark-up of the FY 2015 version of the bill, and the provision passed quickly by a voice vote. (emphasis mine)

This is the first time both the House and Senate committees have approved of federal abortion funding for Peace Corps volunteers.

“Extending basic reproductive health care services to female Peace Corps volunteers is long overdue,” Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) said in a recent statement.

But this statement begs the question. It assumes that the unborn are not valuable human beings and that they can and should be killed if the mother doesn’t want to be pregnant anymore. But that’s the central question of the abortion debate. It’s not the only question that matters, but it’s the question that must be answered before it makes sense to say something like abortion is merely “basic reproductive health care” that a particular group of women should have access to.

Shaheen also said, “Peace Corps volunteers face inherent risks living and working abroad.”

Again, there’s no mention of the risks to the unborn child, who will die in every successful abortion. This is because Shaheen is assuming the unborn are not valuable human beings, and making statements that clearly expose her hidden premise.

Lauren Barbato explains in a pro-abortion-choice op-ed on Bustle.comwhat is included in the phrase “inherent risks,” with statistics that should grieve people on both sides of the abortion debate:

These “inherent risks” for female Peace Corps volunteers, who make up63 percent of the Corps, include rape and sexual assault. According to the Peace Corps, 22 female volunteers each year were the victims of rape or attempted rape between 2000 and 2009. More than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers also reported sexual assaults during that time. The agency admits that incidences of rape and sexually assault are most likely much higher, considering sex crimes tend to go underreported.

A just-released study from the University of Ottawa and Cambridge Reproductive Health Consultants found that of the 362 women who participated, 18 reported a personal abortion experience while in service; 32 women reported a personal experience of rape or sexual assault; 40 participants reported on the rape or sexual assault experience of someone else.

These are absolutely gut-wrenching statistics and sexual assault in the military needs to be dealt with now. It’s a blot on our entire country that so many soldiers are raped. However, because we believe the unborn is a valuable human being, abortion isn’t automatically justified based on the way the child was conceived. IF the unborn is a valuable human being, then it isn’t justified to kill a child conceived in rape just like it wouldn’t be justified to kill a born child conceived in rape.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the amendment last week. It now must pass the full House and Senate to be enacted.