Telegram - Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

Senator Gary Peters and Others Highlight the National Security Implications of Limited or Lack-of Abortion Care Access Including on Military Readiness and Recruitment


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined his Senate colleagues in a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin underscoring the serious national security imperatives tied to providing U.S. service members with access to protected leave for abortion and reproductive health care services. The letter addresses numerous national security implications in the wake of the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade, which in addition to disenfranchising U.S. servicewomen of control over their own bodies, presents serious repercussions for the U.S. military, including health of the force, military readiness, and recruitment and retention. The letter reaffirms the Senators' commitment to supporting the Department of Defense's (DOD) reproductive health care policies.

"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. When service members are assigned to duty stations either domestically or overseas, their placement is determined by the needs of the U.S. military. Women service members, who make up approximately 17% of active duty military, have no say in where they are stationed," Peters and the Senators wrote. "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."

"State laws restricting or prohibiting our service members from accessing reproductive care send a message that the United States does not trust those who serve in uniform – whom we trust to protect our country – to make their own decisions about their health care and families. These laws also jeopardize the health and overall readiness of our military," the Senators continued. "We are committed to ensuring the full implementation of the Department's reproductive care policies and will continue to advocate for the freedoms of our service members and their families, and their right to make their own decisions about their health care."

In their letter, the Senators explain the national security implications for restricting service members' reproductive freedom and underscore the dangerous message sent to women in uniform – current and future – that they cannot be trusted to make their own decisions about their health and families. The Senators conclude the letter by reaffirming their commitment to ensuring the full implementation of the Department's reproductive policies, and that efforts will continue to fiercely defend service members and their families' health and freedoms.

Peters has been a strong advocate for protecting access to essential care and the right of all Americans to make health care decisions privately with their doctors and family. In 2020, Peters was the first U.S. Senator to publicly share his family's personal abortion story – and later told his family's story again on the Senate floor.


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2023

Rendered 05/19/2023 17:11