December 22, 2022

66 Congress Members Demand Defense Secretary Rescind Policy Funding Abortion Travel

On Dec 15, 66 Members of Congress wrote a bicameral letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin demanding that he "immediately" revoke the new Defense Department policy funding travel for abortions.

Rep Chris Smith (R-NJ), Rep Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Sen Steve Daines(R-MT), and Sen James Lankford (R-OK) led the letter to Secretary Austin. They were responding to a recent memorandum announcing that the Pentagon would pay the travel costs of service members and their dependents should they travel out of state to have abortions.

This is one of the latest developments in the Biden administration's ongoing attempts to undermine the US Supreme Court's Dobbs decision returning the issue of abortion to state legislatures and the democratic process.

“We write in strong opposition to the memorandum,” the lawmakers wrote, which “violates decades-old federal law prohibiting the Department of Defense (DOD) from funding elective abortion (which includes facilitating such abortions), and we urge you to immediately rescind it.”

“Congress has clearly and consistently acted to prevent the U.S. military from funding elective abortion procedures and services necessitated by those procedures.

“While the memorandum claims that this policy will be implemented consistent with federal law, funding travel and transportation to obtain non-covered, elective abortions through the DOD would, in and of itself violate federal law. It also contradicts DOD’s past recognition, interpretation, and implementation of this law.”