Lawmakers added a provision to the Defense Authorization Act that would allow abortions in the case of rape or incest.
Politico Pro: Bill Expands Abortion Coverage For Military Women
Women in the military will receive abortion coverage in cases of rape or incest, under a measure lawmakers included in the final version of the defense authorization bill on Tuesday. For more than a decade, all military funding for abortion has been banned except when the mother's life is at stake. The provision, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), would allow the Department of Defense to pay for abortions in cases of rape or incest as well. Right now, women who are pregnant due to rape or incest can only get an abortion at military hospitals if they pay for it themselves. But for decades, the Hyde Amendment has limited taxpayer dollars to be used only for abortions in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother (Cunningham, 12/18).
CQ HealthBeat: Conferees Keep Senate's Abortion Provision In Final Defense Bill
House and Senate negotiators on the annual Pentagon policy bill have reached a compromise on highly charged social issues in the sprawling measure, agreeing to authorize Defense Department funds for abortions in cases of rape or incest while also letting military chaplains decide for themselves whether to officiate gay marriages. Social and domestic issues have, in the past, often tied up final negotiations on the sprawling measure, with the House and Senate regularly at odds over provisions ranging from immigration to abortion. But for this year’s bill, negotiators have navigated these often prickly social issues and reached compromise relatively swiftly (Scully, 12/18).