Congressional Republicans have defeated an attempt by Democrats to turn U.S. military base hospitals into abortion clinics.
Yesterday during the House Armed Services Committee markup of the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act, which funds the U.S. military, Democrats proposed a pro-abortion amendment that Republicans rejected. Current Department of Defense policy prohibits abortions at U.S. military base hospitals and medical facilities and does not permit taxpayer funding for abortions.
But, pro-abortion Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) offered an amendment that would change current law to allow abortion on demand at DOD medical facilities. Speier argued the abortions would be paid for using “private funds,” ignoring the fact that the amendment would require transforming taxpayer-funded military medical facilities into abortion centers.
The amendment failed 25-37 with two Democrats (Langevin, Bordallo) joining every single Republican on the committee in voting against the amendment.
Below is a video of pro-life Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) speaking in opposition to the Speier amendmen.
Current law in effect since 1996 prohibits the performance of abortion by Department of Defense medical personnel or at DOD medical facilities. A separate provision prohibits the use of DOD funds for abortion except to save the life of the mother.
The issue of abortions done at military base medical centers has been around for two decades. When former President Clinton allowed abortions in military facilities from 1993 to 1996, all military physicians (as well as many nurses and supporting personnel) refused to perform or assist in elective abortions. In response, the Clinton administration attempted to hire civilians to do abortions.