Pro-life advocates have reasons to be concerned about Dr. Dean Winslow, one of President Donald Trump’s nominees to the Pentagon.
Winslow, a physician, Stanford University professor and retired Air Force colonel, told a Senate committee Tuesday that he wants to see military hospitals perform abortions for “therapeutic” reasons, The Washington Examiner reports.
In a submitted questionnaire to the committee, Winslow wrote, “I also believe that therapeutic abortion services should be provided by the military in appropriately staffed facilities.”
He clarified to the committee that he meant cases where the mother’s life is in danger. However, this does not make sense. While federal law prohibits military hospitals from performing elective abortions, it does allow abortions in rare cases such as threats to the mother’s life.
According to the Daily Caller, Winslow told the committee:
“So, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to clarify my statement. First, I want to make it clear that I’m aware of that federal law does not allow military medical treatment facilities or DOD funds to be used to provide abortions except in certain circumstances which I won’t go into.”
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“In all cases, patients who wish to obtain an abortion must be referred to a private facility and will not have government funding — taxpayer funding for abortions has been prohibited except in these limited cases for decades. The use the term therapeutic abortion is a common medical term that I should have explained better,” he continued.
Winslow added, “It speaks broadly to abortions performed for a recognized appropriate medical necessity. Generally, when the life of the mother is at risk. That being said, this procedure should only be authorized as prescribed under existing statutory authority.”
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the committee chairman, delayed confirming Winslow because of his statements, according to the report.
“I happen to be pro-life and I happen to believe what he said was not pro-life,” McCain said. “We’ve asked additional questions and we will give him every chance to make his case.”
If approved, Winslow would oversee the military healthcare system at the Pentagon.
Abortion advocates have tried for years to force military base hospitals to do abortions on female service members, but attempts have failed over and over again.
Winslow’s statements are concerning. However, a number of Trump’s other choices for his administration have been strong pro-life advocates. They include Vice President Mike Pence and Ben Carson, as well as Teresa Manning and Charmaine Yoest, both of whom previously worked for prominent pro-life groups.