Congress expected to expand access to taxpayer-funded abortions for military women
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 20, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com—The final version of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will expand access to taxpayer-funded abortion for women in the military and their civilian dependents, according to a conference report released by lawmakers.
The report, which was released on Tuesday, indicates the legislation will retain a measure allowing women in the military and military dependents to use their Department of Defense (DoD) health insurance to pay to abort children that they say were conceived as a result of rape or incest.
Previously, DoD insurance only covered abortions if women’s lives were in danger.
The measure was first introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, passed the Senate earlier this month. John McCain publicly supported the inclusion, as did Colin Powell.
Since the House version of the NDAA did not include the measure, a conference committee was tasked with voting whether or not to include it in the final, joint version of the bill.
On prior occasions, Republicans in the House have blocked similar amendments. They were expected to do so this time, as well.
That they did not surprised many observers.
Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation, who was himself conceived in rape, maintained the NDAA’s abortion expansion provision “had nothing to do with protecting women.”
“If it did, why not include some sort of provision including harsher punishments for the attacker?” he asked in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com. “Why not go after the men who commit these horrible crimes?”
He dismissed the idea that abortion is a way to care for rape survivors. “Abortion is not care,” said Bomberger. “Care doesn’t end in death.”
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Advocates of legalized abortion were overjoyed. “For too long, servicewomen and military dependents have been denied an important aspect of health care coverage,” said Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center. “It was unconscionable that women who survived rape or incest were forced to pay out-of-pocket for an abortion.”
Bomberger told LifeSiteNews the funding changes could have far-reaching and unseen consequences. He pointed to the 1967 “Therapuetic Abortion Act” passed in California, which allowed abortions under the same circumstances as the 2013 NDAA would finance.
The year the law was passed, there were 518 abortions in the state. Now, there are more than 200,000 every year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion industry think tank that tracks legal abortion.
The final version of the NDAA is expected to be approved by both houses of Congress within the week.
After that, it will be sent to President Obama’s desk for his signature.