November 27, 2012 (San Diego)— A startling 28% of all women serving in the military report being victims of sexual assault.
Now the Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 that would give women serving in our military the same access to affordable reproductive health care as federal civilian employees. This amendment would allow the federal health care plans of service women to cover abortions in cases of rape or incest.
“This is particularly important given the tragically high rate of sexual assaults in our military,” says Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), who supports the measure. “I believe that American service women are entitled to the same rights and access to reproductive health care as the civilians they protect.”
Boxer previously co-sponsored S. 1214, the Military Access to Productive Care and Health (MARCH) bill, which would give U.S. service women healthcare coverage for abortion if they are raped or victims of incest. It would also allow service women to use their own personal resources to access a range of reproductive healthcare at U.S. military medical facilities instead of being forced to rely on outside medical facilities.
“This is especially important for U.S. service women stationed overseas because local facilities are often unsafe,” Senator Boxer said of her measure, which remains in committee.