Raped in the Military, Then Raped by the House of Representatives - Page 2
One way to reduce the intensity of this psychological wound is to ensure that the rape doesn’t result in the birth of a child. There is no more powerful trigger. There is also broad consensus among Americans – even anti-abortion Americans – that a woman who was raped shouldn’t be forced to birth the child of her rapist.
So even the restrictive, anti-abortion Hyde Amendment provides for an exception in the case of rape. But only – it turns out – for civilians. A civilian government employee who is raped on a military base is provided abortion services if she is impregnated. Embassy employees get these services. Even congressional staffers get these emergency health services. Only service members are denied. And in many places they are stationed, there is no option to get a safe abortion off base.
Senator Jean Shaheen aims to fix the problem, with a defense authorization bill amendment that extends abortion services to service members who are raped, giving them parity with other federal employees. "We have more than 200,000 women serving on active duty in our military," Shaheen told Mother Jones Magazine. "They should have the same rights to affordable reproductive health services as all of the civilians who they protect."
Republican Senators John McCain, Susan Collins and Scott Brown are also on board. They are urging their House counterparts to get a clue.
Yet it is likely that House Republicans will fight to keep the amendment language out of the final defense authorization bill. An unnamed Republican House staffer told Army Times, “…social provisions that are not reflected in both bills heading into conference don’t survive.” A “social provision” he called it.
Can’t House Republicans manage to have the compassion to offer an abortion to someone who served honorably in time of war and was the victim of a friendly-fire rape? It’s the very definition of no-brainer.
Find out how to contact your US Representative at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/. Illustration by Jared Rodriguez.