WASHINGTON, D.C., November 30, 2010 ( – One version of a bill working its way through a U.S. House committee has conservatives on Capitol Hill worried that its seemingly benign language could become a vehicle for another federally-funded expansion of abortion.

The “Women Veterans Bill of Rights,” or H.R. 5953, due for consideration by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs this week, bestows upon female military vets “the right to a coordinated, comprehensive, primary women’s health care, at every Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility,” among other prerogatives.

Pro-life sources on Capitol Hill fear that bill’s wording, not unlike the vague language of early versions of the health care reform bill, may create legal precedent for taxpayer-funded abortion by failing specifically to exclude the procedure.

The bill also specifies women veterans have access to a “Department of Veterans Affairs primary care provider” who can provide “gender-specific” and “preventive” health care needs, and provides the right to “request and get treatment by clinicians with specific training and experience in women’s health issues.” This, say pro-lifers, could be twisted to mandate the availability of abortionists at every Veterans Affairs health care facility.

Other language demanding “gender equity” for female veterans could play into the hands of pro-abortion forces, which have frequently labeled prohibitions on abortion as automatically gender-discriminatory.

On Tuesday, Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) offered an amended version of the bill that explicitly prohibits abortion, in-vitro fertilization, and gender alteration as already banned under the US Code of Federal Regulations.

The new version of the bill was expected to be debated today, and may be voted on Wednesday.

Click here for a list of members of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.


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