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December 17, 2010

Anti-Choice Senators Block Repeal of Discriminatory Abortion Ban

Washington, DC - Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the expected exclusion of an amendment from the Defense bill repealing an abortion ban on women serving overseas unacceptable. Keenan called it a sign of the lengths to which anti-choice senators, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, will go to obstruct legislation that is good for women’s health.

“It is beyond the pale that Congress appears to be poised to advance legislation that fails to repeal an abortion ban that denies military women the same access to abortion care that women have here at home,” Keenan said. ”Sen. John McCain and others in the Senate who held the whole bill hostage over this improvement for women’s health should be ashamed. This kind of anti-choice obstruction is unacceptable – and it won’t end anytime soon. Americans now have an example of what it looks like when political ideology trumps women’s health. Unfortunately, when the new Senate convenes in January, there will be more senators who are willing to play politics with women’s reproductive rights, even women who are bravely serving their country overseas.”

In May, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment offered by then-Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) to repeal a law that forbids servicewomen and female military dependents from using their own money for abortion services at overseas military hospitals.

This repeal would not have forced the Department of Defense to pay for abortion services. It would simply lift the current ban on privately funded abortion care at U.S. military facilities overseas.

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