This country met with an uproar from both sides of the abortion issue upon learning of a leak regarding the possibility of overturning 1973’s landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision.
Roe v. Wade was an unprecedented Supreme Court case that ruled in favor of a pregnant woman’s liberty to have an abortion without excessive government restriction, and that decision is protected by the U.S. Constitution in regard to privacy rights.
This case was decided almost 50 years ago; it was instituted three years prior to the revocation of the automatic discharges for military women if they become pregnant.
That military case was decided in the 2nd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, and ruled that the Marine in question was not afforded due process to prove whether she was able to continue to serve after having a child.
There is a sentiment that maybe Roe v. Wade may have prevented at least some military women from facing the same fate as that Marine.
At this moment, the Department of Defense will only provide abortion services for military women when the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus was carried to term.
It must be said that the VA cannot perform any abortion services for any veteran due to a law that passed in 1992 called the Veterans Healthcare Act (oh yes, the title is ironic for pro-choice advocates).
The Ibis Reproductive Health, an organization that champions to “improve women’s reproductive autonomy, choices, and health,” conducted interviews with 21 servicewomen ages 19-34 from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps who volunteered to talk about their experiences.
The survey involved only active-duty military women who had received abortions in the two previous years.
They found that the women’s experience was difficult because they did not know that the military did not assist in helping them find abortion services. A survey in 2011 found that military women were more likely to have an unexpected pregnancy, “72 unintended pregnancies per 1,000 women under 44, as opposed to 45 per 1,000 in the general female population.”
Pregnant service members sought an abortion because it would impact their careers.
Only recently have pregnant women been given the permission to take courses that are required for promotion. But it is more surprising that there are military families on food stamps, and these military women have to pay out of pocket for an abortion from their meager income.
This bill could cost as much as a two-week’s paycheck. So, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, the military will face greater readiness challenges.