A bill to terminate the Defense Department’s new policy of offering travel allowances and paid leave for service members seeking abortions has the backing of most Senate Republicans.
Introduced on March 15 by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the legislation (pdf) is co-sponsored by 35 other Republican senators.
“The Pentagon should not be mobilized against the unborn,” Ernst said in a March 15 statement. “The Department of Defense exists to defend life, not destroy it.”
Announced in February, the Pentagon’s “Ensuring Access to Reproductive Health Care” policy gives military service members until 20 weeks gestation to notify their commanders of their pregnancy status. For those seeking “non-covered reproductive health care services”—a category that includes abortions and in vitro fertilization (IVF)—for themselves or a dependent, the policy allows for up to 21 days of paid administrative leave and, when deemed necessary, travel and transportation allowances….