FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2012
Congress Supports the Shaheen Amendment to Lift Military Abortion Ban for Rape Survivors
Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, praised Congress for supporting a provision sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) that would lift the ban on women in the military using their health insurance for abortion care in cases of rape or incest.
“Today, leaders in Washington have finally righted a wrong in women’s reproductive health. Women who selflessly serve our country have won back some of their reproductive freedom,” Keenan said. “For decades, abortion bans on military women have not only discriminated against our heroes, but also endangered their health. I wholeheartedly thank members of Congress for their actions and commend Sen. Shaheen for leading the effort to defend our servicewomen’s reproductive rights.”
The Shaheen amendment has widespread support ranging from retired military officers to former Secretary of State Colin Powell to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. President Obama also issued a State of Administration Policy supporting the Shaheen amendment.
This ban is one of two unfair restrictions on women’s access to safe abortion care. Looking to the future, NARAL Pro-Choice America also urges lawmakers to repeal the ban on military women using their own money for abortion services in situations beyond sexual assault at overseas military hospitals.
“As the 40th anniversary of the historic Roe v. Wade decision draws near, we are reminded that there is still more work to do to protect access to reproductive-health care,” Keenan continued. “Today’s win is a step in the right direction, and we along with our activists will continue working to protect this right.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America is a longtime leader in advocating for servicewomen’s reproductive rights and has been working with lawmakers and other allies for more than 15 years to repeal this unfair abortion-coverage ban. Nearly 89,000 of the organization’s member activists have taken action to support lifting the ban.