Over the past couple of months, the military has upped the ante in its fight to reduce sexual harassment and assault through education and prevention programs. This is all good, but it will take time to see whether or not these initiatives actually work.

In the short run, women are still being assaulted, and some of those assaults result in pregnancy. A pregnancy that cannot be aborted at a military facility because the military healthcare system denies coverage of abortion care, even in cases of rape or incest. This is grossly unfair….

Congress is the only organization that can change this scenario.

There may be hope. At the end of May, the Senate Armed Services Committee, with the endorsement of Senator John McCain, R-Ariz. passed an amendment from Senator Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that would end this policy and let military women (and dependents) receive insurance coverage of abortion in cases of rape or incest. The amendment was adopted by a bipartisan vote of 16-10….

The next step is for the bill to go before the entire Senate for a vote….

Passing this bill is the first step in improving the rights of military women.

~ Darlene M. Iskra, Time’s Battleland, June 11

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