(LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Navy issued a policy on Thursday for its service members providing for travel costs as well as administrative leave for elective abortions.
The memo aims to circumvent tightened abortion restrictions enacted in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s reversal, with 13 states having since virtually banned all abortions and a few more restricting abortions when a heartbeat can be detected or at 15 weeks.
Federal law allows women to seek abortions at military facilities only in the case of rape, incest, or life-threatening pregnancies, leaving service members bound by the laws of their state of deployment for elective abortions.
The new Navy policy provides for paid leave and travel expenses not only for abortions but for assisted reproductive technologies (ART) procedures, including those involved in in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
The naval guidance provides for an administrative absence of up to 21 days for an abortion or ART and its accompanying travel time but is “limited to the minimum number of days” needed for the trip. The offer for 21 days of leave is meant to allow for the completion of a full IVF cycle, according to a senior defense official, American Military News reported.
The policy also allows for leave and pay for service members to accompany spouses or dependents seeking an abortion or ART.
The Pentagon pledged to protect “seamless access” to abortion last year after the Dobbs Supreme Court decision, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin suggesting that abortion access provides for the “health and well-being” of military service members.
Last month, the Department of Defense (DOD) released policies according to which all military branches are to pay for the travel expenses of service members seeking abortions or fertility treatments such as IVF and grant paid leave for these procedures.
The memos instruct commanders to approve the requested leave of absence when the soldier identifies a need for it unless “the Service member’s absence would impair proper execution of the military mission.” Further, commanders are expected to expedite the requests and are forbidden from commanding soldiers from consulting a chaplain, obtaining counsel or medical testing before granting leave.
“The Navy speaks of taking care of its people, but not the innocent ones whose deaths are being subsidized by this policy, essentially giving free leave up to 21 days, and paying for women to murder their children,” commented a Navy lieutenant, who is known to LifeSiteNews but wants to remain anonymous.
“This opens the door for loose women to take advantage of the policy and try to get pregnant so as to get free leave and an all-expenses paid trip. If they’re already morally corrupt, what’s to stop them from abusing said policy?” he continued.
The lieutenant pointed out that there is added pressure for commanding officers to sign off on abortion leave and travel requests, since any denied request can be appealed at a level above the commanding officer.
“Not that one’s career should be considered when dealing with the life of a child, but we saw this kind of situation with the Covid jab, and most complied. It would seem then that most will not resist this as either. I hope and pray I’m wrong,” he added.
In response to the policy, Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican who chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, criticized the Biden administration for making the DOD “an abortion travel agency over a lethal fighting force.