'Abortion travel agency': Pentagon will allow military members to travel for abortions on taxpayer dime

 The Pentagon released new policies on Thursday directing the agency to fund out-of-state travel for service members wishing to obtain an abortion.

Following an October 2022 memorandum from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to protect access to "non-covered reproductive health care," the Defense Department announced three new policies related to abortion and reproductive health care.

Under the new policies:

  • Policy 1: Service members who become pregnant now have until 20 weeks gestation to inform their commanders of the pregnancy.
  • Policy 2: Service members can take 21 days leave to "receive, or to accompany a dual-military spouse or a dependent who receives, non-covered reproductive health care," which includes abortion and other reproductive health care, such as IVF.
  • Policy 3: Service members will receive travel allowances for themselves and their "dependents to travel to access non-covered reproductive health care" when "non-covered reproductive health care services is not available within the local area of the member’s permanent duty station," according to the Pentagon.

The language "non-covered reproductive health care" is important. Legally speaking, the Defense Department cannot use taxpayer funds to pay for abortions; that would violated the Hyde Amendment.

But apparently, it can use taxpayer funds to assist in service members getting abortions. This means that service members stationed in a locality where abortion is not legal will be granted taxpayer funds to travel to another state where abortion is legal to end their pregnancy.

The new policies will take effect in 30 days.

What was the reaction?

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mike Rogers (R) condemned the new policies, saying they make the Defense Department an "abortion travel agency." 

"Today, the Biden administration chose to make the Department of Defense an abortion travel agency over a lethal fighting force," the Alabama congressman said. "As I have repeatedly told the political leaders of this administration, taking this action jeopardizes congressional authorizations for our warfighters. I am extremely disappointed the Biden administration chose once again to use our military to placate the radical left."

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