Illinois Congressional leaders speak out on the VA offering abortion care in certain cases
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs announced in early September it would amend its medical regulations for veterans and their beneficiaries to include abortion counseling and allow abortions in certain cases including when a pregnant veteran’s life is at risk, or in instances of rape and incest.
The announcement follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June to overturn Roe vs. Wade. That struck down a woman’s right to an abortion as protected by the Constitution.
As a veteran, Senator Tammy Duckworth supports this decision. Duckworth says it’s important these types of medical services are still provided for women in the Armed Services specifically, since she says most veterans don’t personally choose the state where they end up living.
“We, the American people, sent them there to serve us when they were protecting and defending us in the military,” said Duckworth. “I think that’s a component that people don’t understand which is why this decision by the VA is so important because it gets healthcare to the Veterans wherever they are in this country.”
Illinois Congressman Mike Bost doesn’t support the VA’s decision. Bost called it “contrary to longstanding, settled law.” In a statement, he says in part: “I oppose it and am already working to put a stop to it.”
In a House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing on Sept. 15th, Bost said he is working with his colleagues on “the Appropriations Committee and in the Senate to consider sanctions against V.A. for violating the Anti-Deficiency Act.” Bost went further to say “Abortion is not health care – no matter what those on the other side of this issue may feel.”
With the option to provide abortion care services now in the hands of states, this decision by the VA will override state law in the case of Veterans.
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