The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on Thursday released new policies for military members, including the coverage of travel expenses for non-covered abortions, to go into effect within 30 days. The DoD will grant up to three weeks of leave for military members to access non-covered abortions.
A non-covered abortion is any abortion carried out for reasons other than to protect the life of the mother or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Induced abortion — the intentional killing of preborn child prior to delivery — is never medically necessary.
In a press release, the DoD said the new policies are “on command notification of pregnancy, administrative absence for non-covered reproductive health care, and travel allowances for non-covered reproductive health care.” The 30-day period will allow the Military Departments time to implement and incorporate the policies.
The first policy on “command notification of pregnancy” gives service members until 20 weeks gestation to inform their commanders that they are pregnant. A service member considering abortion is advised to consult with a DoD health care provider who can place them in a medical temporary non-deployable status until the abortion and abortion recovery are complete.
The policy for administrative absence for non-covered reproductive health care allows service members to request administrative absence of up to 21 days (three weeks) from their usual duties to access non-covered reproductive procedures including non-covered abortions. The service member can also request three weeks of administrative absence to accompany a dependent to a non-covered abortion procedure.
Finally, the travel and transportation allowances help service members and their dependents to access non-covered abortion and other reproductive procedures when those procedures are not available in the member’s local area. Expenses that can be covered include lodging, transportation, and meals. The elective abortion cost would be at the service member’s expense.
In a press release, SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser said, “The Biden-Harris administration has turned to outright lawlessness to impose abortion without any limits right up to birth, paid for by taxpayers, in all 50 states. Our nation is at its best when defending the lives and rights of the most innocent and vulnerable. Seven in 10 Americans want greater protections for unborn children and their mothers and reject taxpayer-funded abortion on demand. But Democrats in Washington will stop at nothing to prop up the abortion industry, even flagrantly breaking the law.”
The Department of Defense said, “Our Service members and their families do not control where they are stationed, and due to the nature of military service, are frequently required to travel or move to meet operational requirements. The efforts taken by the Department today will not only ensure that Service members and their families are afforded time and flexibility to make private health care decisions, but will also ensure Service members are able to access non-covered reproductive health care regardless of where they are stationed.”
Live Action founder and president Lila Rose responded in a press release:
President Biden has turned the lethality of the American military towards pre-born children, forcing every American to be culpable in their homicide. 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 Pentagon first announced its decision to enact these policies back in October 2022 and they are now expected to be in full effect by March 18, 2023. U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) announced he will put a hold on all DoD civilian and general/flag officer nominations if the policy is implemented.
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