Continuing President Biden’s agenda to expand abortion access for active duty military, the U.S. Coast Guard recently announced that it would be paying for abortion travel for members and dependents.
The new policy announcement came in an ALCOAST bulletin from March 1st announcing the Coast Guard is now offering administrative absence and convalescent leave for abortions, including travel allowances, to its members and their dependents, CatholicVote reports. The Coast Guard policy will grant service members up to 21 days off from their duty station “to receive, or to accompany a dual-military spouse or a dependent who receives non-covered reproductive health care without loss of pay or earned leave.”
This policy brings the Coast Guard in line with the other branches of service after Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin III signed a memo, criticized by dozens in Congress, in October 2022 announcing that the military would pay for abortion travel. The move is part of a wide-ranging Biden administration initiative to use federal agencies to bypass pro-life laws that went into effect in many states in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision.
The Coast Guard occupies a unique position in the U.S. military. Originally under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, President George W. Bush transferred the Coast Guard to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003. Because of this, every military policy change requires separate implementation for the Coast Guard.
TRICARE, the military health coverage program for active duty and reserve personnel, previously covered abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s life would be endangered — despite the fact that an induced abortion, which is the direct and intentional killing of a preborn child, is neither medically necessary nor is it healthcare. Under the new policy, the Coast Guard will now indirectly fund service members obtaining non-covered abortions.
Additionally, the policy covers fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF). As Live Action News has reported, the IVF industry is poorly-regulated and frequently causes the death of many preborn babies in the very early stages as some are selectively reduced, or simply held in limbo and never implanted. Frequently, if too many implanted embryos survive and thrive in utero, some of these babies are targeted for “selective reduction.”
In response to the Department of Defense announcing that it would be covering abortion travel for military and dependents, Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, released a statement in February. “President Biden has turned the lethality of the American military towards pre-born children, forcing every American to be culpable in their homicide,” she said. “This is an extraordinarily sick policy. Pro-life members of Congress must stand up to these egregious abuses of the Biden administration and ensure that our military is not using our tax dollars to kill our children. Our military personnel should be focused on protecting American children, not killing them.”
The rate of unplanned pregnancies is much higher among servicewomen than it is among the civilian population, as Live Action News has reported. Women in the military facing unplanned pregnancies have reported feeling immense pressure to abort their babies, because of what they perceive as negative impacts on their career progression. According to the RAND corporation, “somewhere between 2,600 and 4,100 service women” seek abortions annually.
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