The abortion ban in the United States is going to be much more challenging for women in military service. Servicewomen face sexual assault and experience more unwanted pregnancies than in rest of the society. Abortion ban, another hurdle for US servicewomen
The ban on abortion following the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the supreme court is much more challenging for servicewomen . Currently, over 230,000 women serve in the US military. They experience more sexual assault and go through 22 percent more unwanted pregnancies than usual. However, military medics can perform abortions if proven as rape. Additionally, as per a 1976 law, abortions are allowed if it is incest or if the mother's life is in danger. Women make up only 17 percent of the US military. However, most of them are young and in their childbearing years. Moreover, 75 percent of the recruits are under the age of 22.
Many of these women are serving in conservative states that have enacted the bans. Hence, they will have to travel out of state to find a clinic that will perform the procedure. Additionally, they will also need to take time off from work. The travel and medical expenses will increase their financial burdens. This requires them to disclose sexual affairs, which is discouraged in the US military.
More on the hurdle
As per a 2018 study in the journal Trauma, Violence and Abuse, almost 25 percent of servicewomen are victims of military sexual trauma. They are also reluctant to turn to military doctors as they will have to report the assault. This is followed by an investigation. Additionally, in most cases, it is their superior officer who commits the assault. The study also reveals that they avoid going to military medics for contraceptives which require a doctor's prescription in the US. For example, the US Navy reprimands women for sexual activities during month-long deployments.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed to review Pentagon policies following the Supreme Court's decision. Additionally, Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives are introducing a new bill to help these women.
“Our brave service members deserve the same access to basic health care as the people they are fighting to protect,” stated Representative Jackie Speier. The California representative also chairs a House subcommittee on military personnel.
Abortion ban Roe v. Wade
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