Did you know that women in the US armed forces are currently denied access to legal reproductive options?
About 350,000 women currently serve in the military, making up about 15 percent of all active-duty personnel. But federal law does little to protect their reproductive rights. Not only are servicewomen banned from accessing abortion care at all military medical facilities, many can’t even obtain emergency contraception at their base pharmacy and thus have no effective access to Plan B contraceptives.
Timely access to emergency contraception is important for military women, especially since nearly 3,000 incidents of sexual assault were reported in the military last year– an approximate 24 percent increase from 2005. Congress has an opportunity to improve health care for women in the military with a bill sponsored by lawmakers in both parties supporting the addition of Plan B to the list of medications that must be stocked at every military health-care facility.
A vote is expected soon and the count is going to be very close. This is an issue that popular opinion really could influence. And it makes eminent sense for Congress to make every effort to reduce unintended pregnancies in the armed forces. So click here to join NARAL Pro-Choice America’s campaign to convince Congress to vote in favor of the Compassionate Care for Servicewoman Act.