EXCLUSIVE: GOP Warns DOD ‘Could Not Fund Elective Abortion’ Following Announcement of ‘Unlawful’ Abortion Coverage

Within the wake of stories that the Pentagon can pay for service members and their dependents to journey to abort their unborn infants, Republicans are reminding the Division of Protection that it might not fund abortions.

“Each the regulation itself and Congressional intent are clear: the U.S. army might not fund elective
abortion,” the bicameral group of lawmakers mentioned in a letter first obtained by The Each day Sign. “This essentially contains funding for any exercise necessitated by the abortion, akin to journey and transportation.”

The letter, led by Representatives Chris Smith of New Jersey and Vicky Hartzler of Missouri and Senators Steve Daines of Montana and James Lankford of Oklahoma, references the Pentagon’s October 20 memorandum saying that the Protection Division would set up “journey and transportation allowances for Service members and their dependents…to facilitate official journey to entry non coated reproductive well being care that’s unavailable inside the native space of a Service member’s everlasting responsibility station.”

The October announcement famous that the transfer was a direct response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The memorandum claims that funding abortion journey could be executed in accordance with federal regulation, however the Republicans notice that funding journey and transportation to get abortions by way of the DOD would “in and of itself violate federal regulation” and contradict the Protection Division’s “previous recognition, interpretation, and implementation of this regulation.”

“Congress has clearly and constantly acted to stop the U.S. army from funding elective abortion procedures and providers necessitated by these procedures, and DOD has acknowledged and complied with the regulation,” the Republicans mentioned. “We’re appalled by the flagrant disregard for the regulation expressed by the Division on this memorandum.”

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The lawmakers referred to as on Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin to elucidate whether or not the DOD has begun offering transportation and journey for abortions, and if that’s the case, the place the cash is coming from to fund this “unlawful coverage.” In addition they demanded specifics on throughout “what week gestation would journey and transportation to acquire an elective abortion be supplied” — together with whether or not the DOD would implement the unlawful coverage up till start.

The Pentagon memo, which framed the transfer as a response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, additionally mentioned that it’s going to develop a program to reimburse charges for these Protection Division well being care suppliers who “want to change into licensed in a special state than that by which they’re at present licensed”—suggesting that those that wish to carry out abortions in states aside from the one they’re at present licensed might accomplish that on the Pentagon’s dime.

Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin ordered that the actions outlined in his memo be executed “as quickly as potential,” noting that every one actions have to be accomplished no later than the top of the calendar yr.

“Our biggest energy is our individuals,” he concluded. “There isn’t a increased precedence than taking good care of our individuals, and guaranteeing their well being and well-being. The Division of Protection will proceed to intently consider our insurance policies to make sure that we proceed to supply seamless entry to reproductive well being care as applicable and in step with federal regulation.”

In response to a request for remark from The Each day Sign, Division of Protection spokesman Charlie Dietz confirmed in October that “if the dependent of a service member lives in a state the place abortion entry is restricted, the DoD will cowl their journey and transportation prices to a location the place they will legally obtain the care.”

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