Vicky Arias, FISM News
The Department of Defense (DOD) on Thursday released a plan to pay for various abortion-related expenses for pregnant women in the military.
The statement outlines new policies, which will become effective on March 16, to offer up to three weeks of paid administrative leave for women receiving “reproductive health care.” Travel to and from abortion clinics and lodging in the clinic area will also be paid for by the department for servicewomen who live in an area where abortion isn’t offered.
“Travel and transportation allowances may be authorized for service members and dependents to travel to access non-covered reproductive health care,” the press release states. “Travel and transportation allowances may be authorized when access to non-covered reproductive health care services is not available within the local area of the member’s permanent duty station, temporary duty location, or the last location the dependent was transported on government orders.”
The department describes “non-covered reproductive care” as “assisted reproductive technology” and “abortion.”
The Pentagon’s new pro-abortion policies are the result of an October 2022 directive issued by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. In his memo, Austin directed the DOD to install measures that would create easy access to abortions for female service members.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade “has impacted access to reproductive health care with readiness, recruiting, and retention implications for the Force,” Austin stated, and suggested that the new policies would “ensure that [the military] can recruit, retain, and maintain the readiness of a highly qualified force.”
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah expressed that women in the military could get the wrong impression from the Pentagon’s new policies.
“When the Pentagon pays for your travel and gives you three weeks of paid leave to have an abortion, could women serving in the military reasonably hear the message as ‘we really don’t want any of you to get pregnant, and if you do, we really, really want you to have an abortion’?” Lee stated.
Additionally, the House Armed Services Committee Chairman, Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), condemned the DOD’s new policies in a press release on Thursday.
“Today, the Biden administration chose to make the Department of Defense an abortion travel agency over a lethal fighting force,” Rogers stated. “As I have repeatedly told the political leaders of this administration, taking this action jeopardizes congressional authorizations for our warfighters. I am extremely disappointed the Biden administration chose once again to use our military to placate the radical left.”