Target: Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Goal: Expand abortion access to women in the military who have been raped.
Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen has presented a proposal to expand abortion access for military women who have been victims of rape. Republican Senators John McCain, Scott Brown and Susan Collins all support this effort, but the bill may never pass due to opposition from House Republicans.
As described in an article by Mother Jones, currently the Department of Defense has limited abortion coverage. Unlike all other federal government agencies, coverage for an abortion only comes into effect if the mother’s life is at stake. If a State Department employee is raped, an abortion is covered through her government-issued health insurance. But if an Army officer on active duty is raped and needs an abortion, her health care plan will not cover it.
It is becoming increasingly clear that rape and sexual assault is an ever-growing problem in the military, making proper abortion coverage all the more important. In 2011, there were 471 instances of reported rapes, and only an estimated 13.5% of all rapes and sexual assaults are actually reported.
Although this seems like a reasonable bill that ought to be passed, a GOP staffer reported to the Army Times that the amendment “stands little chance of surviving.”
Put simply, we need to protect the women who risk their lives to protect the rest of us every single day. They deserve (at least) the same abortion coverage that civilians receive, and with it the safeguard in case they are victims of rape.
Sign below to support Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s effort to protect military women, and tell House Republicans that this bill needs to be passed.
Dear Senator Shaheen and Fellow House Republicans,
It is vital that the proposed bill set forth by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is passed. It is shocking that military women do not have the same health care and abortion care coverage as civilians already. However, Sen. Shaheen’s bill will serve to effectively remedy this discrepancy.
News reports and disturbing statistics have surfaced showing very clearly that rape and sexual assault in the military is rampant, and continuing to spread. We must protect the women who sacrifice everything to protect us.
To House Republicans who oppose this bill: it would be in the best interest of women soldiers to pass this bill. Hopefully, you can look past your own beliefs about abortion, and see that women soldiers who are raped deserve the option of deciding what is best for their lives in the most challenging of circumstances.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Dimland.com