.- The House of Representatives rejected a measure to allow elective abortions in military hospitals overseas by a vote of 233 to 194 Wednesday. “Abortion is not health care. It destroys the life of a child and represents an utter failure to address the real needs of women," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., an official with the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "We congratulate the House of Representatives for rejecting an amendment which would have compelled our nation’s fine military hospitals around the world to perform abortions on demand.”
In 1988, the Reagan Administration established a policy prohibiting elective abortions in military hospitals. President Bill Clinton overturned the policy in 1993, but a military survey of Army, Navy, and Air Force doctors stationed in Europe was unable to find medical personnel in the armed services willing to perform abortions. Congress overturned the Clinton policy in 1996. The House measure May 25 was an attempt to reinstate it.
The existing ban contains exceptions for cases where the mother’s life is endangered or where pregnancy occurred from rape or incest.