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Pentagon Will REMAIN Some Abortions On Bases — Even If They’re In Total Ban States

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Pentagon will CONTINUE to perform abortions on bases that ‘comply with federal law’ — even if they’re in states with total bans

  • Medical centers on military bases are federal facilities and will not change how they operate under the new ruling, according to the Pentagon
  • Federal law allows military facilities to offer abortions in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest
  • It prohibits the Department of Defense (DOD) from paying or offering other forms of abortion
  • States “should not impose criminal or civil liability on federal employees who perform their duties in a manner permitted by federal law,” according to a DOD memo.
  • According to an internal report, the Pentagon performed 91 abortions at its facilities between 2016 and 2021

The Pentagon said Tuesday it will continue to offer limited abortions to female military personnel and dependents at its facilities, regardless of how state law changes after the annulment of Roe v. Wade.

Gil Cisneros, defense secretary for personnel and preparedness, said medical centers on military bases are federal facilities and will not change how they operate under the new ruling. Federal law allows military facilities to offer abortions in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. It prohibits the Department of Defense (DOD) from paying for or offering other forms of abortion.

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision on Friday to reverse Roe, the landmark 1973 case that legalized the pre-viability of abortion, after about 20 weeks.

The Pentagon said Tuesday it will continue to offer limited abortions to military women and dependents at its facilities, regardless of how state law changes after the annulment of Roe v. Wade

Pro-life protesters celebrate Roe's overthrow outside the Supreme Court

Pro-life protesters celebrate Roe’s overthrow outside the Supreme Court

Without Roe, a number of states have said they will ban abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. States like Alabama and Arkansas have laws that were blocked by courts until the Dobbs decision that contains no exceptions. After Dobbs, those laws will likely come into effect. Florida bans abortions after 15 weeks with no exceptions, and states like Louisiana and Texas have trigger laws that will come into effect soon and will introduce a near-complete ban on abortion, including rape or incest.

All state bans on abortion contain some sort of exemption for when the mother’s life is threatened.

The Supreme Court decision does not prohibit the department from continuing to perform covered abortions, in accordance with federal law. This concern will not be interrupted,” the Cisneros memo read.

States “shall not impose criminal or civil liability on federal employees who perform their duties in a manner permitted by federal law,” the memo said.

The Pentagon performed 91 abortions at its facilities from 2016 to 2021, according to an internal report obtained by USA today.

A large group of abortion rights advocates protest at the Mississippi Capitol, in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, June 28

A large group of abortion rights advocates protest at the Mississippi Capitol, in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, June 28

Cisneros added in the memo that the court’s decision will “significantly affect our service members, dependents, other DoD health care beneficiaries and civilian employees, as well as the preparedness of the Force.”

The memo stated that service workers can still use paid sick leave to travel to another state to have an abortion.

Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra on Tuesday ordered federal agencies to ensure all women have access to drug-induced abortions in the case of rape or incest.

The secretary told reporters that federal law requires HHS programs to issue abortion pills in exceptional circumstances, including rape or incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

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