Colin Powell Urges Congress to Protect the Rights of Military Women
This week, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the 65th United States secretary of state, Colin Powell, joined the chorus of voices calling on members to pass the Shaheen amendment — a critical protection which provides military women with insurance coverage for a range of reproductive health care services, including abortion when a pregnancy results from rape or incest.
In a letter to key congressional members, including House Speaker John Boehner, Powell urged them to include the amendment in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): “unlike other current federal restrictions on abortion coverage, the military ban provides no exception for cases of rape and incest. The current policy is unfair and must be changed.”
Powell knows that our servicewomen deserve more than this discriminatory policy that denies them the best medical care that our country can provide: “Our servicewomen commit their lives to defending our freedoms; Congress should respect their service and sacrifice and provide them with the same level of health care coverage it provides civilians.”
Just as all other federal employees on government-sponsored health care plans receive coverage for a safe and legal abortion in cases of rape or incest, women in the military deserve this same critical protection.
This evening, Congress is expected to name the conference members who will be appointed to negotiate the final version of the NDAA bill. Make sure the Shaheen amendment stays in the final version — take action today and urge key members of Congress to pass this critical protection and bring military health care in line with the rest of the federal government employees.
Don’t let the pressure up! We’re almost there.