Monday, December 5, 2011

Amendment Killed that Would Have Allowed Abortion for Military Rape Victims

Did you know that government won't provide abortions for military rape victims?

Rape is all too common in the military. Military rape victims are reluctant to come forward due to a long history of a "boys will be boys" attitude combined with an unsympathetic male-dominated hierarchy and the fact that reporting rape can be a career-ending move for a woman in the service.

According to the Pentagon, rapes are on the rise in the military, but only 10-20% of rapes are reported to authorities. And only a small number of those actually go to court. So numbers are vague, but we can guess that roughly 0.1% to 1% of rapes in the military are actually prosecuted.

Now add to that terrible statistic the fact that a servicewoman who becomes pregnant by her rapist can't get an abortion through the military medical system. She has to go to an outside doctor and pay for it herself. And that's assuming she's in a country where that's even possible. A woman who is serving in Iraq or Afghanistan is just out of luck, because you can bet there are no abortion clinics.

Recently, it looked like there was a chance to change this terrible policy. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would lift the ban on using government funds for abortions in the military.

But Senator Shaheen's amendment was killed on a technicality: it was ruled "non-germane" by the chair.

It's time to end this immoral, fundi-inspired discriminatory law. And you can do something about it. is a wonderful web site that provides instant access to your Senators and Representatives. We timed it: in just seven minutes my wife wrote and sent three emails supporting Senator Shaheen's amendment to Senator Feinstein, Senator Boxer and Congressman Bilbray.

While this battle appears to be over, the war is not. It's time to end this immoral and discriminatory law that victimizes rape victims in the military. Write to your representatives. Do it now. Why are you still reading this? And if you're one of my fellow bloggers, I hope you'll blog about this too!

(H/T to Laurel for this story.)

(Update: The title has been corrected from "Bill" to "Amendment.")

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Dear readers -- I am no longer blogging and after leaving these blogs open for two years have finally stopped accepting comments due to spammers. Thanks for your interest. If you'd like to write to me, click on the "Contact" link at the top. Thanks! -- CJ.

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