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War on Women, Military Edition

MILITARY WOMEN haven’t had the same rights as civilian females when it comes to reproductive health care for decades. Unbelievably, only if the life of the woman is at stake is abortion currently covered through Department of Defense policy. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has a bill that will alter this injustice, which is backed by very few Republicans, Sens. John McCain, Scott Brown, and Susan Collins, but Republican extremists in the House are intent on scuttling it.

While the State Department covers an employee who’s been raped if she wants an abortion, a female in the U.S. military serving overseas who is raped does not have coverage for the same type of procedure. The soldier would have to pay for it herself and if she can’t prove it’s rape, she could be forced off the base to get the procedure done. Imagine that horror in the Middle East.

From Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones:

Current Pentagon policy is more restrictive than the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being used to provide abortion services except in the case of rape, incest, or if the woman’s life is endangered. The DOD enacted its stricter, life-of-the-mother-only limit on abortions in 1979. In 1988, the law was tightened again–Congress now forbids women from using their own money to pay for abortions in military health centers unless they are a victim of rape or incest, or if their life is at risk.

The military reported 471 rapes of servicemembers in 2011 alone. The true number is likely far higher–the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office estimates that only about 13.5 percent of all rapes and sexual assaults in the military are actually reported. The Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress estimates that several hundred women in the military become pregnant as a result of rape each year.

These women are willing to die for their country. They have earned the right to have full freedoms and protection while they’re doing it.

The article focuses on Republicans, as it should because they are the prime culprits, but I wonder how many Senate and House religious conservative Democrats will end up voting against Shaheen’s legislation, too.

As for so-called conservative women in Congress, why won’t they stand up? I know why, but it makes absolutely no sense.

I will never understand why Republicans don’t see that a woman’s individual freedom is a deeply conservative, libertarian notion as much as it is a civil right.

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9 Responses to War on Women, Military Edition

  1. casualobserver June 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    I am pleased to report that I agree with you and am prepared to stand with you on this particular issue. There is no logic, compelling reason or sound employment practice to support the discrimination of benefits amongst federal “employees”. Obviously, in the private sector, a discrimination lawsuit would have been filed long ago.

    I do vote Republican most every time because your readers have drilled it into me that it is stupid not to vote in your economic interest. However, this Republican voter does not subscribe to most social conservative philosophy tenets, much less practice these.
    I am disappointed that the personal morality choices of individuals, choices not infringing upon the rights of others to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, have been allowed to become legislative guide posts for so many R legislators. How can we expect to perfect our economic domination of the proletariat when we allow ourselves to become distracted with issues unrelated to the amassment of true sources of power.

    Everyone should be allowed to enjoy the occasional titillation of viewing some non-objectifying porn, do the horizontal mambo with the consensual partner of their choice (that would preclude barnyard animals, secular) as well as enjoy the attitudinal adjusting powers of recreational drugs after a particularly stressful day of blogging.

    Rape, incest and subsequent life threatening issues are easily understood to not be a consensual choice. I agree to pick up my part of the societal tab for those situations.

    While John Sununu is a personal friend of mine, I will still sign the Shaheen support petition if you wish to get one going.

    • Taylor Marsh June 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      My mentor big brother, though our ideology is dissimilar, was assistant A.G. to John Ashscroft, a state senator back in the day, who co-sponsored the ERA bill in the Missouri senate and became a “pro-choice” Republican and did debates up against Phyllis Schlafly, whom he easily slapped around rhetorically on women’s freedoms. He was a friend of Kit Bond, whom I sat in parades with as Miss Mo., a man who helped him retire his debt after a disastrous congressional run that had every yahoo in Missouri opposing him to keep him from the nomination. He also knows Jack Danforth, a king in Missouri politics. He detests Rush Limbaugh and the rabid right, and voted for Barack Obama in ’08, because of various reasons, though Sarah Palin was up there.

      Shorter: he agrees with you.

      I’m sure there is a petition out there somewhere. Maybe someone will provide one for you to sign.

      Common cause achieved. Love it.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter June 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

      “Everyone should be allowed to enjoy the occasional titillation of viewing some non-objectifying porn, do the horizontal mambo with the consensual partner of their choice (that would preclude barnyard animals, secular) as well as enjoy the attitudinal adjusting powers of recreational drugs after a particularly stressful day of blogging.”
      I’d have to see the barnyard animal first.

      • casualobserver June 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

        Touche/

        • secularhumanizinevoluter June 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

          If it looks anything like Coulter, Palin, Malkin, Bachman or Bay Buchanan no deal.

  2. Taylor Marsh June 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Leave it to NARAL.

    • casualobserver June 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

      Done…….thanks for the assist.

    • ladywalker68 June 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

      Thanks for the link, Taylor!

    • secularhumanizinevoluter June 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Signed shared.

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