Today, Senator Roland W. Burris introduced an amendment to the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act that would repeal the current policy of banning privately funded abortions in Department of Defense health care facilities. The National Defense Authorization Act is currently under consideration by the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which Senator Burris is a member.
Since the 1980's, a statute banning service members and their families from choosing to receive family planning services at Department of Defense facilities unless the pregnancy was a danger to the life of the mother or as a result of an act of rape or incest has been upheld. Senator Burris' legislation will end this prohibition, allowing servicewomen and their families to elect to have on-base procedures at their own personal expense.
"Currently, more than 100,000 service members and their dependents live on military bases overseas and rely on military hospitals for their health care," said Senator Burris. "It is critical that we provide the highest quality care for our service members while they are serving our nation overseas, and that includes allowing women and their families the right to choose at facilities operated under the Department of Defense."
The amendment passed the Senate Armed Services Committee this evening by a vote of 16 to10 with one Senator not voting. The amendment will now be included in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act.