In the short run, women are still being assaulted, and some of those assaults result in pregnancy. A pregnancy that cannot be aborted at a military facility because the military healthcare system denies coverage of abortion care, even in cases of rape or incest. This is grossly unfair.
True, abortion becomes an option if the mother’s life is endangered, she foots the bill herself, or seeks care outside the military system. But U.S. servicewomen remain the only federal workers denied coverage in cases of rape. Even federal inmates can get abortions. It is horrible enough to be sexually assaulted; when that assault results in an unwanted pregnancy, it begins the trauma anew.
Most rape victims are junior enlisted women who cannot afford an abortion in the civilian sector. Enlisted earn less pay, and often come from families who cannot afford to help them. If they are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, they cannot get an abortion in country and must return to the United States, if they can convince their commands to let them go. Then they must pay for the procedure itself. The policies are stacked against women who are raped and become pregnant.
It’s a shameful policy. But you can stand with servicewomen here, and encourage Congress to pass a bill that would at least give servicewomen the option of abortion in cases of rape and incest. It’s far from perfect — and of course the implication is that abortion is ok if it’s not a woman’s “fault” she got pregnant — but it’s better than nothing.