Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Editorial: Wrong fight, wrong time

May. 9, 2013 - 12:28PM   |  
  • Filed Under

Military force structure is being cut. Warships are tying up at their piers. Squadrons are standing down for the remainder of the year. Civilians face furloughs.

Yet as the Pentagon faces tens of billions in budget cuts, the most pressing military issue for some lawmakers is whether female troops should have access to abortions in military hospitals at their own expense.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, chair of the Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee, and Rep. Louise Slaughter, both Democrats from New York, are sponsoring legislation that would reverse a 17-year-old ban on patient-funded abortions in military medical facilities.

This is a solution in search of a problem. When patient-funded abortions were permitted in military facilities in 1993 and 1994, a grand total of 37 abortions were performed. Today’s military is smaller, and there’s no indication that demand for abortions is any greater today — or that it’s gotten any harder to obtain one outside the base gates.

This is just an attempt to use the military as a political football. The bill is virtually assured of being blocked by the Republican-controlled House, but Gillibrand and Slaughter will be able to say they fought for abortion rights, and no one will care that they ignored the military’s bigger trouble in its time of need.

Abortions have long been permitted in military hospitals when the mother’s life is at stake, and since 2011, in cases of rape or incest. Abortions are readily available in the U.S., and overseas members can fly home space-available at minimal cost.

With so many more pressing military issues, lawmakers wasting time on this futile fight need to rethink their priorities.

Answers sponsored by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

This job will get you promoted
Army's new program elevates role of AIT platoon sgts.

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook