House of Representatives Wednesday rejected a measure which would have
allowed military women to obtain surgical abortions at U.S. military
hospitals using private funds.
This is the tenth year that the House has rejected such an amendment to the defense authorization bill, reported United Press International. In 1996, Congress banned abortions — even if paid with an individual’s personal funds — at federally funded facilities, including military hospitals.
The amendment, tabled by New Jersey Democrat Robert Andrews, was defeated 237 to 191; 30 Democrats joined House Republicans to defeat the amendment.
Military women who are overseas and want abortions, have to take personal leave or vacation time to fly to the U.S. or another country where abortion is legal. However, military hospitals may provide the abortifacient RU-486 in cases of rape or when the woman's life is in danger.
Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, was pleased with the House vote. “The military shouldn’t be deployed against unborn babies,” he said in a press release.
There are nearly 200,000 women in the U.S. military; 12,000 are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.