Senators urge Defense Secretary to ensure service members can travel for abortions
A group of left-leaning senators are urging US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to ensure service members can travel for abortions if the US Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade.
A leaked draft opinion for an ongoing case shows the High Court could overturn the landmark abortion-related decision – but the draft is not an official decision, and the court’s official opinion later this year could differ from the project.
“The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of every state from regulating or prohibiting abortion. deer and Casey assumed this authority. We now reverse those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” the draft notice reads.
Such a ruling would give states the power to ban abortions, and some states have trigger laws that would ban most abortions if the High Court issues such an opinion.
Sense. Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H .), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Angus King (I-Maine) came together in a letter warning that service members could find themselves stationed in states where abortion is no longer available. Lawmakers called on Austin to take action so service members in this situation can travel to get an abortion.
“If the advisory goes into effect, hundreds of thousands of DOD troops, dependents, and civilians will lose access to safe abortions and could be subject to criminal prosecution for exercising a basic human right, creating a scenario in which the reproductive and health rights of service members would become dependent upon their duty station,” the lawmakers said in the letter.
“As head of our military services, it is your responsibility to safeguard the health and well-being of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and guards. As our country faces a likely setback in human rights, What are you and your personnel doing in preparation to protect the health and well-being of those under your command What steps will you take to assist service members in need of an abortion At a minimum, you and your personnel should consider implement policy changes to allow service members to obtain, for example, special release or additional permissive temporary authorizations to travel out of state for reproductive health care and abortions if they are on duty in a jurisdiction that restricts those rights after the release of the Dobbs decision,” the senators said in the letter.