Bill Extending Abortion Coverage to Peace Corps Volunteers Re-Introduced
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) re-introduced the Peace Corps Equity Act in the Senate and House last week. The bill, previously introduced by the late Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), would extend coverage for basic reproductive health care services, including abortion, to all Peace Corp volunteers.
"Extending basic reproductive health services to female Peace Corps volunteers is long overdue," said Sen. Shaheen in a statement. "Peace Corps volunteers face inherent risks living and working abroad and there's no reason they should be denied standard health care services offered to most women with federal health care coverage."
Unlike other employees under federal health care plans - including Peace Corps employees - Peace Corps volunteers currently do not have access to abortion coverage even in cases of rape, incest, or endangered health or life.
"This is about fairness - fairness for American ambassadors working in every corner of the world to save and change lives," said Rep. Lowey. "It is absolutely unconscionable that female Peace Corps volunteers who are victims of sexual assault, or whose pregnancies endanger their lives, are not afforded the same health care access as virtually all other women with federal health coverage."