New Biden administration rule will give some pregnant veterans, beneficiaries abortion access, even in states where it’s banned
Thanks to action from President Joe Biden’s Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA will provide abortions, under certain conditions, even in states where abortion services have been banned or restricted, according to NPR.
The policy comes in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which has left the legality of abortions up to state governments to decide. Since the decision in June, abortion has been banned or restricted in 17 states, including North Carolina. Nine other states had their bans blocked by a court, and West Virginia has a ban beginning soon.
- The new rule will allow pregnant veterans and VA beneficiaries access to abortions if their life or health is in danger or if they are victims of rape or incest. “Offering this care will save Veterans’ health and lives, and there is nothing more important than that,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the VA’s undersecretary for health.
- Although the VA’s move is not on the level of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call to open abortion clinics on federal land in red states, this will allow VA employees to bypass abortion laws in red states “when working within the scope of their federal employment.”
- “The abortion access crisis is here and it is real. Our veterans have put their lives on the line for this country and should at the very least be able to make decisions about their own bodies,” said Planned Parenthood president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson.
The VA’s move comes as Republican-controlled states continue their efforts to outlaw abortions and Republicans in tight midterm races realize the folly of their excitement at the Supreme Court’s decision.
After the totally predictable national backlash to the court’s decision, many Republicans are now “softening” their supposed stance on abortion or scrubbing their campaign websites of any mention of abortion, like NC 13th District Congressional candidate Bo Hines. The election is coming up fast, and it’s vital that voters realize Republicans aren’t actually reasonable when it comes to abortion.