Military Abortion Policy Used How Many Times?

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( – The military policy which gives service members the option to have their travel costs reimbursed if they or a family member has to travel out of their state in order to access reproductive health care, including to get an abortion, was reportedly used 12 times last year. 

On Tuesday the Pentagon had noted that from June to December the military policy had been used 12 times. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin put the policy in place in 2022 following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark abortion rights case, Roe v. Wade. This policy is meant to help ensure that any troops assigned to states that do not allow abortions or provide access to other reproductive health care services, including IVF, would be able to travel outside of the state to access the services in question. 

Still, the policy had been controversial with Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R) protesting the policy by holding up hundreds of military promotions for months in an attempt to get the Pentagon to rescind it. However, in December Tuberville allowed all of the promotions to go through, withdrawing his holds. 

There were 12 occurrences where the policy was used over seven months last year, with the total costs that the Pentagon had to cover being around $40,000 according to Sabrina Singh, the deputy press secretary of the Pentagon. The money helped cover transportation, lodging, and food for those who had to travel out of state. The Pentagon noted that they have no information on the first five months of 2023 as the service did not yet have a way of tracking the policy costs. 

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