The US defense chief vows to protect ‘health and well-being’ of American troops
Lloyd Austin, Secretary to Defense said that the Pentagon is reviewing all of its available options and policies. “as permitted by federal law,” to protect American servicemembers’ access to pregnancy terminations following the Supreme Court move to repeal Roe v. Wade.
“The Department is examining this decision closely and evaluating our policies to ensure we continue to provide seamless access to reproductive health care as permitted by federal law,”After the Supreme Court overturned a 1973 Supreme Court ruling, Austin made a short statement Friday. It stated that the Supreme Court had struck down an earlier 1973 decision which guaranteed Austin the right to an abortion in the first trimester and only limited rights in the latter.
“Nothing is more important to me or to this Department than the health and well-being of our Service members, the civilian workforce and DOD families,”American defense chief also added.
The Department of Defense has come under increased pressure by activists and lawmakers to ensure easy access to abortion services for American troops since a draft SCOTUS ruling was leaked to the media in May.
The federal law prohibits military doctors providing these services. This means that troops must travel to another location for an abortion. With Roe v. Wade overturned, most would need to seek treatment in another state.
Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming have all banned abortion in most cases since Friday’s ruling, or will do so in the coming days and weeks. Arizona, Florida Florida Georgia Ohio South Carolina. The legislation that bans elective abortions after a certain cutoff period of 6 to 15 weeks will be in effect. Other states including West Virginia, Virginia, and Nebraska have also promised similar restrictions.
The US Army and Air Force made it possible for troops to have time for abortion, but pro-choice advocates argued that the Pentagon should take steps to protect the access of all military branches.
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