Colin Powell: Military Women Deserve Similar Abortion Coverage As Civilians
December 12, 2012 4:05 AM EST
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell joined several military leaders this week in sending a letter to Congress, urging support for an amendment to allow the Defense Department to offer abortion coverage to servicewomen who are victims of rape and incest.
The Shaheen Amendment, included in the version of the National Defense Authorization Act that the Senate unanimously passed on Dec. 4, is currently being discussed by the two chambers.
If both the Senate and the House approve the measure, servicewomen would get the same insurance coverage as civilians covered under federal programs. Currently, coverage is provided only if a servicewoman’s life is in danger with no exception in the case of incest or rape. Otherwise, women in uniform would have to pay out of pocket for the procedure if they were raped and their lives weren’t threatened.
Powell, a Republican, is a retired four-star general in the United States Army and the former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military officer in the nation, as well as former Secretary of State.
"It has been our privilege to lead and serve alongside the brave men and women of our armed forces and we believe that they deserve the best medical care that our country can provide,” the letter read. “We were therefore greatly disappointed to learn that, by federal statute, the Department of Defense is barred from providing insurance coverage for abortion except where a pregnant woman’s life is endangered.”
The Dec. 9 letter's authors called the current defense policy “unfair” and said it “must be changed.” They said, at the very least, military women deserve the same access to reproductive care as other employees of the federal government.
According to reports, top members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees like Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) support the amendment.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Still The World Champions: Team USA Overpowers Serbia, 129-92 To Win 2014 FIBA World Cup [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- After Win Over Maidana, Mayweather Says He Is Prepared To Negotiate A Fight With Pacquiao
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
Join the Conversation
- Twitter Photo Of British Medical Muslima Student Holding Severed Head
- Australia's Imam Council Rebuffs Abbott Decision To Send Troops; Wants 'Islamic' Dropped From ISIS
- Spying Claims Muddle New Zealand Election as Dotcom Calls Key Gov't An 'American Slave'
- Germany to Send Soldiers to Iraq, Bans Displays of Support for ISIS
- Strike vs ISIS Countdown: Arab Nations Signify Intent to Join U.S. Fight
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8: Performance, CPU and Health
- Google Release Roundup: Nexus 5 2014, Nexus 6, Nexus 8 and Android L Killer Features
- Samsung Attacks iPhone 6 Plus Through New Galaxy Note 4 Commercial: Apple Claims Imitating Galaxy Note Phablets
- iPhone 6 And IPhone 6 Plus Sold Out, New Stocks To Arrive In October
- Moto G (Gen 2) vs. Xiaomi Redmi 1S—Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Nexus 6, 8 Release Dates Imminent as Moto X Pre-Order Begins & Nexus 7 Deals Ramp Up
- iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Shipping Has Begun, Expected To Reach Customers’ Doorstep On Sept 19 Launch Date