NWLC Deplores Congress' Failure to Repeal Military Abortion Ban

For Immediate Release

National Women's Law Center
Contact: 

Maria Patrick or Andrea Maruniak, 202-588-5180

NWLC Deplores Congress' Failure to Repeal Military Abortion Ban

WASHINGTON - Today the Senate and House approved the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 without the Burris Amendment, which would have repealed the law that forbids servicewomen and female military dependents from using their own money for abortion services at military hospitals.

The following is a statement from NWLC Co-Presidents Marcia D. Greenberger and Nancy Duff Campbell:

"We are deeply disappointed that Congress has sidestepped its responsibility to protect the health of military women by failing to repeal the ban on abortion at military facilities. Under this federal law, no servicewoman is able to obtain an abortion in a military hospital-even when it is the only safe option and she uses her own funds-except in cases of rape, incest, or when her life is in danger," said Marcia Greenberger.

"This policy is particularly dangerous for women serving overseas. A female soldier in a remote corner in Afghanistan who needs an abortion can't turn to the hospital on base. Her choices are limited and risky. She can take a chance on a local clinic and throw the dice on whether she will get safe and professional care," Nancy Duff Campbell continued.

"It's tragic that women who risk their lives for the nation may lose the ability to exercise their constitutional right to have an abortion. Our servicewomen deserve far better," concluded Campbell.

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