Pentagon To Cover Travel Costs, Paid Time Off For Service Members’ Abortions

In 30 days time, the Pentagon will front the bill for U.S. military service members getting abortions by covering travel costs and providing them with paid time off.

According to a report by Fox News, the Department of Defense will “cover travel for service members seeking an abortion or to accompany a spouse who is seeking to terminate their pregnancy.”

American troops will have 20 weeks to notify their superiors and request travel to end the life of their unborn child, new guidance released by the Pentagon says.

“The DOD health care provider will place the Service member considering pregnancy termination in a medical temporary nondeployable status without reference to the Service member’s pregnancy status, until appropriate medical care and the necessary recovery period are complete,” the DOD memorandum states.

(US Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Farson)

The Pentagon is also directing the branches of the military to grant service members “administrative absence” for abortion recipients, or fertility treatments that aren’t covered by military health care providers, Fox News reported.

The new policy, which is set to come into effect in just 30 days, differs from the old DOD policy that only covered abortion expenses if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, or if the life of the mother was at risk.

A DOD memo states that the department wants to “to facilitate official travel to access non-covered reproductive health care that is unavailable within the local area of a Service member’s permanent duty station.”

Montserrat Pedroza / Flickr

“Service members and families are required to travel and move to meet the needs of the nation. And while they certainly have a voice in the process of where they’re assigned, ultimately, decisions are made in the best interest of the department’s mission requirements,” said an unnamed senior defense official to the Military Times.

“And we strongly believe that these moves should not impact their access to essential health care. These policies that we’re releasing today will help ensure long-term that we’re able to recruit, retain and maintain the readiness of a highly qualified force,” he added.

The Pentagon’s new abortion policy for service members comes as several major U.S. corporations and state governments move to ease restrictions and accommodate those seeking abortions  in the wake of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.

This news and commentary by Andrew White originally appeared on Valiant News.


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