The GOP leadership and all three remaining Republican presidential candidates support restricting women’s access to constitutionally protected abortion rights — and they are united in calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood. On the issue of reproductive rights for American women, including women in the military, there is no better leader or effective advocate than Hillary Clinton.
This is a deeply personal issue for me: 40 years ago while serving in the U.S. Army I had a publicly funded abortion at a military hospital in Savannah, Georgia.
The Constitutionally protected right to safe and legal publicly funded abortions for service women has not, in most circumstances, been available for 37 years – a fact that is not widely recognized or even acknowledged by the America public. The Republicans would like to keep it that way.
Since 1979, Congress has prohibited the use of public funds for abortion services at overseas military hospitals – the only exception being in the event of a threat to the mother’s life. In 1988, the Reagan Administration, without Congressional input, directed that military hospitals were no longer to provide privately funded abortions to service members or spouses at overseas installations.
President Bill Clinton temporarily rectified this ban in 1993 by issuing an executive order within the Roe v. Wade framework that permitted military women to obtain abortions in the case of rape or incest. But only two years later, an anti-choice Congress broadened the public funding ban to forbid privately funded abortion care for servicewomen (except for rape and incest).
It took 20 years to overcome these setbacks for women who serve our country when President Obama signed a law in 2013 which revoked the statutory ban and granted female service members insurance coverage for abortions in cases of rape and incest.
There is no doubt that a President Hillary Clinton would protect and preserve the Constitutional right of all women to a full range of reproductive health care. As Hillary has said, Donald Trump’s assertion that all abortions should be banned is the “spear point” of the Republican Party’s war on women’s reproductive rights.
On the issue of reproductive rights for American women, including women in the military, there is no better leader or effective advocate than Hillary Clinton.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)