July 13, 2023
VIDEO: Pressley Slams GOP Effort to Restrict Abortion Access for Servicemembers
GOP Amendment to NDAA Would Make It Harder for Servicemembers to Travel to Seek Abortion Care
“It is unconscionable that this military bill would become yet another blunt instrument to deny women and families across the nation their bodily autonomy.”
WASHINGTON – In an impassioned floor speech tonight, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus’ Abortion Rights and Access Task Force, slammed a Republican amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would make it harder for servicemembers to access abortion care. The proposed amendment would make it more difficult for servicemembers to travel to seek abortion care by undoing the Pentagon’s policy of reimbursing servicemembers for such travel.
A full transcript of her remarks is available below and the video is available here.
Transcript: Pressley Slams GOP Effort to Restrict Abortion Access for Servicemembers
U.S. House of Representatives
July 13, 2023
Thank you. I rise in opposition to Amendment #35.
I rise today on behalf of the servicemembers and their families who make enumerable sacrifices for our country and for our freedoms.
Yet today, there are efforts underfoot to deny them their own.
Health care is a human right, yet today, there are deep disparities that create barriers to access to care, like today’s amendments, which will only deepen those gaps.
This is especially true when it comes to abortion care and reproductive healthcare.
There has been a daily assault on access to regular and routine care.
In addition to full spectrum reproductive care being an essential human right – it is also a readiness imperative for our military.
So if you care about the fitness of our military, then part of that readiness imperative includes access to the full spectrum of reproductive care.
This is a human right.
You should not have to forfeit your right to medical care when you enlist to serve your nation.
But due to the massive restrictions to abortion care enacted at the state level, for many of our military families on base they cannot receive the care they need, and they must navigate onerous travel to get basic healthcare.
This includes in instances of being raped by a fellow soldier or a superior.
And now, my colleagues across the aisle are trying to trap pregnant servicemembers and deny them the care they seek.
This is dystopian but unfortunately it is all too real.
Since draconian and cruel abortion bans have been enacted across the country, pregnant people have been denied care and the outcomes have been debilitating and devastating.
People have been denied miscarriage treatment, care for ectopic pregnancies. Mothers have lost their ability to have a child because of convoluted laws that delayed or denied the urgent abortion care they sought, resulting in lasting health issues and infertility.
It is unconscionable that this military bill would become yet another blunt instrument to deny women and families across the nation their bodily autonomy.
This is not the type of exceptionalism that we should be leading in this country.