House Committee Reinstates Overseas Military Abortion Ban
Last week, the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel amended the Defense Department Reauthorization Act to improve the reproductive health services available to military personnel and spouses stationed overseas by granting federally-funded abortions to women whose pregnancies are the result or incest or rape, or are life-threatening.
Yesterday, the full Armed Services Committee rejected the Subcommittee's amendments and voted to prohibit publicly-funded abortions for rape who have been raped unless their rape was "forcible" (excluding statutory rape) and had been reported to law enforcement officials. The Committee also reinstated the ban on privately-funded abortions for military service members and their dependents.
Current law prohibits abortions at military hospitals except in cases of rape or incest, or when an abortion is needed save a pregnant woman's life. Federal funds pay only for life-saving abortions only when the procedure is needed to save the woman's life.
The Defense Department Reauthorization Act will next go to the full House. A Senate version of the same legislation does not include the new abortion restrictions passed by the Armed Service Committee.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .