The ACLU has enlisted the help of former servicemembers (“military heroes,” since everyone who was in the military is a “hero”) in a concerted ad campaign to get abortion funding approved in the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013. Similar attempts have been made virtually every year and have failed.
Advocates are launching a full-court press in favor of allowing the military to fund abortions in cases of rape or incest, but some Capitol Hill insiders say past failures bode ill for the measure’s survival.
An amendment allowing abortion funding in rape and incest cases, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee last month as part of the committee’s version of the 2013 defense authorization bill.
Under current law, the US military will only perform abortions in cases where the life of the mother is in danger, without exception.
Horace Cooper of the National Center for Public Policy called the amendment “a solution in search of a problem.” Indeed, advocates often talk about becoming pregnant in the war zone/Afghanistan, while failing to note such behavior would violate military regulations to begin with. A previous first person example cited in support of this cause described only an inconvenient (albeit in violation of regulations) pregnancy occurring in Iraq, not one that was the result of rape or incest, which means the amendment would have done nothing.