U.S. Rep. Jason Crow of Aurora speaks at an event to celebrate the opening of Colorado Democrats’ Aurora field office on June 28, 2022. (Faith Miller/Colorado Newsline)
U.S. Rep. Jason Crow praised the Department of Defense’s decision to ensure service members have access to reproductive health care including abortion after he proposed a bill that would have done the same last fall.
“After the Supreme Court’s extreme and dangerous decision to overturn a woman’s fundamental right to an abortion, servicemembers struggled to access basic reproductive health care,” Crow, a Centennial Democrat, said in a statement. “I applaud the Department of Defense for moving to protect our servicemembers and mitigate recruitment, readiness, and retention challenges. The servicemembers who fight for us should not have to fight for basic health care.”
One of Crow’s goals was to ensure that, following the Supreme Court ruling last year that ended the constitutional right to abortion, service members stationed in states that enacted abortion restrictions could travel to states, such as Colorado, where abortion access remains available.
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A Department of Defense news release from mid-February said it issued policies on the steps a service member needs to take if they need to travel for reproductive health care. The policies relate to command notification, administrative absence and travel allowances.
“Our Service members and their families do not control where they are stationed, and due to the nature of military service, are frequently required to travel or move to meet operational requirements,” the Department’s news release said. “The efforts taken by the Department today will not only ensure that Service members and their families are afforded time and flexibility to make private health care decisions, but will also ensure Service members are able to access non-covered reproductive health care regardless of where they are stationed.”
Anticipating that his bill last year would not succeed, Crow had said he planned to pursue other options to protect service members’ rights to reproductive health care not covered by military health care, including direct work with the Department of Defense.
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