Yesterday was Veteran’s Day. I have had the honor of meeting some of the incredible veterans – retired military officers and non-commissioned officers – who have come together to right a wrong. Currently, federal law bans coverage of abortion for military women (and military dependents) who become pregnant due to sexual assault. The vets are working to get this unfair law changed.
These officers told us that the first thing they had been taught was that it was their responsibility to “take care of the troops.” To a person, these veterans are fighting against this ban as an extension of that responsibility.
Specifically, they support an amendment to the National Defense Re-Authorization Act (NDAA) that Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) offered in the Armed Services Committee to end this ban. And, they succeeded. The Shaheen Amendment passed out of Committee with a bi-partisan vote. In fact, both Senators Carl Levin and John McCain (the Chairman and Senior Republican on the Committee) voted for the provision. Read more »
On Thursday morning, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted a press briefing to call attention to the Shaheen Amendment, which would repeal the ban on coverage for abortion care for military women and dependents who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. The Amendment was voted into the National Defense Authorization Act of FY2013 (NDAA) by a bipartisan vote of 16-10 in the Senate Armed Services Committee. The NDAA is now headed to the full Senate for approval.
As a long-time fan of Senator Shaheen, I was thrilled at the opportunity to see her champion this important issue affecting our military women.
During the briefing, Senator Shaheen welcomed two high-ranking retired military officers who spoke about how under current law, military women who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest are denied coverage for abortion care. Read more »
Department of Defense (DoD) officials told GAO that families, particularly those with infants, often had difficulty finding child care due to waiting lists at many on-installation child development centers and a limited supply of eligible off-installation child care. DoD plans to address this shortage by constructing new child development centers that will add over 21,000 on-installation child care spaces, according to the GAO report. It is also taking steps to expand the availability of off-installation child care by increasing coordination with community-based providers and helping them meet DoD quality standards. Read more »
by Holly Hemphill, Senior Counsel, National Women's Law Center The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) is again up and running. The Committee was founded in 1950 by then Secretary of Defense George Marshall to advise him on recruiting, training and effectively employing more women in the armed forces at the time of the Korean War. Read more »