WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined colleagues in a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, underscoring the need to provide U.S. servicemembers and their families travel support and protected leave to access reproductive health care services, including abortion. The letter highlights how, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, hundreds of thousands of troops, their dependents, and Department of Defense civilian employees stationed in anti-choice states through no fault of their own have lost access to critical reproductive health care and may even face criminal prosecution for seeking care.
“Following the Dobbs decision, the RAND Corporation estimates that 40% of active duty women serving in the continental United States face limited or no access to abortion services where they are stationed,” wrote the Senators. “Women service members, who make up approximately 17% of active duty military, have no say in where they are stationed, even if their duty station is in a state that severely limits or restricts access to abortion or other critical reproductive health services. It is unacceptable that service members or their dependents should face limited or no access to abortion care simply because of where they are stationed as part of their service to the United States.”
The full letter can be found here.
Senator Rosen has been a leader in fighting for women’s reproductive rights in the face of attacks by anti-choice politicians. Earlier this month, Senator Rosen helped introduce the Women’s Health Protection Act to enshrine Roe v. Wade in federal law and protect millions of women’s access to reproductive health care. Last year, ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe, Rosen joined a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough calling for immediate administrative action to allow veterans and their eligible dependents to access abortion care and all related services through the VA. Last Congress, Rosen also co-sponsored the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act, legislation that would ensure legal protections for women traveling across state lines to receive reproductive care.