Senator Shaheen Stands Up For Military Women

It’s no secret; I did not love Governor Shaheen. I hated the way she handled the death penalty and the state income tax actually passed by the legislature. But, that was then. I’m pretty crazy about US Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

From Mother Jones:

Republican Senators John McCain, Scott Brown, and Susan Collins all support an effort by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, to expand abortion access for military women who are raped. But despite bipartisan support in the Senate, Shaheen’s proposal may not make it into the final version of the 2013 defense authorization bill-because House Republicans oppose it.

Really, GOP? REALLY? This is just unconscionable.  

If Shaheen’s measure passes, military families will finally have the same access to abortion that other federal employees already receive. Unlike the rest of the federal government, the Department of Defense currently only provides abortion coverage if the life of the mother is at stake. Under current law, if a State Department employee is raped, her government health insurance plan will pay for an abortion if she wants one. But if an Army medic serving in Afghanistan is raped and becomes pregnant, she can’t use her military health plan to pay for an abortion. If she does decide to get an abortion, she will have to pay for it with her own money. And if she can’t prove she was raped-which is difficult before an investigation is completed-she may have to look for services off base, which can be dangerous or impossible in many parts of the world.

“We have more than 200,000 women serving on active duty in our military,” Shaheen tells Mother Jones. “They should have the same rights to affordable reproductive health services as all of the civilians who they protect.”

It’s even more unconscionable when one considers that one in three military women are raped by their own fellow soldiers.

Meteor Blades also covered this story at Kos:

The way things are is that efforts have been made for years to get this grotesque, ruthless inequity off the books. But Congress hasn’t budged. Sen. Shaheen tried to change the law for the 2012 budget without success. Her amendment then and now would permanently allow servicewomen to obtain safe and affordable abortions on their bases or through the military’s health network. The Military Access to Reproductive Care and Health for Military Women Act would require Tricare, the military’s health insurance, to cover the cost of abortions in the case of rape or incest. It would also allow servicewomen to obtain abortions for other reasons at military health centers if they pay for them out of their pockets.

Thank you for continuing to fight for our military women, Senator Shaheen.  

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  • hannah

    The Republican party has been taken over by people who lust for power.  And, for power to be felt, it has to hurt. Moreover, if hurt can be inflicted indirectly (by going along with a rapist’s intent to deposit his sperm into a reluctant womb), then the cowardice of the power-obsessed is satisfied, as well. Legislators get to augment the injury (the violation of a woman’s bodily integrity) without having to be personally involved. Failing to compensate for a wrong is a no-cost opportunity to inflict additional hurt.
    When authority stands silent in the face of abuse, it becomes complicit. For some people, that’s a cheap thrill.
    That we have elected such people as law-makers is a shame. If we don’t remove them, it’s a crime — like failing to muzzle a dog that bites.

    Would the incidence of rape in the military be as high, if the lawmakers weren’t complicit?
    To what extent is rape a component of the culture of obedience and the dominance of the hierarchy it promotes?  Either the rapists are grossly insubordinate or the military hierarchy is complicit.

  • unhhockey

    where is Kelly Ayotte on this?  Reading the statistics on this was horrifying.  Much of this is no less than human rights violations.

    The people of New Hampshire deserve so much better than Ayotte.  E-mail her office and demand to know where she stands on this.

    I can only hope that in four years Ayotte will become nothing more than an embarrassing chapter in our history and Sen. Shaheen will be serving her second term.

  • Lucy Edwards

    for every office how they stand on issues concerning women.  And we need to get clear answers.  Don’t let them get away with fudging.  We don’t need to repeat 2010 when too many voted for people who had a secret social agenda.  

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