Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans are pro-life and do not want to fund abortion with their tax dollars. The government, however, continues to ignore the will of the people on this point. The latest move for government-sponsored abortion came from the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
Under current law, abortions may not be performed by Department of Defense medical personnel or in Department of Defense medical facilities except when the life of the mother is at risk, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
- U.S. Code Title 10 USC Sec 1093
- (a) Restriction on Use of Funds – funds available to the Department of Defense may not be used to perform abortions except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term.
- (b) Restriction on Use of Facilities – No medical treatment facility or other facility of the Department of Defense may be used to perform an abortion except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or in a case in which the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.
On Thursday, an amendment to strike that law was offered by Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) in a closed committee mark-up. It passed by a 15-12 vote. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) was the only Democrat to vote against the amendment.
Since the law does not distinguish between overseas and domestic military facilities, the effect of the Burris amendment would be world-wide. It will turn our military medical facilities, both domestic and overseas, into abortion clinics.
And American taxpayers will be footing the bill by paying for these military facilities, additional equipment, and the use of needed military personnel to perform abortions.
Leading the opposition to the amendment, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) gave a speech on the Senate floor that may be viewed here. An excerpt of his remarks:
“The committee yesterday decided to reverse this long-standing policy and to say that indeed abortions, for whatever reason, will be performed in these facilities that are paid for by taxpayer expense that are there for the care of our service members to keep them healthy and to repair their injuries. We’re going to use those facilities for elective abortions. If this amendment stands — and I guarantee you it will be challenged on the floor of the House and Senate, with separate amendments — Members will be given a chance to vote on this separate issue. But if this stands, our military installations, Fort Bragg, Columbus Air Force Base, Keesler Air Force Base in my home state of Mississippi, their medical facilities will be able to be used for abortions, performed late term, abortions performed for purposes of sex selection, abortions performed for any reason. Abortion-at-will will be the requirement for our military installations and the medical facilities on those installations.”
Moreover, history tells us that if the Burris amendment becomes law, it is not just taxpayer-funded facilities that will be used to support abortion-on-demand. More money may be used to search for, hire, and transport new personnel to perform those abortions.
From 1993 to 1996, when President Clinton allowed abortions in military facilities, the administration had to seek out civilians to perform the abortions – all military physicians refused to perform or assist in elective abortions.
Most Americans are still upset about government-imposed abortion funding through the new health care law. Yet, as states pass legislation like Americans United for Life’s Federal Mandate Opt-Out Act to minimize that damage, Congress continues to push more ways to support the abortion industry, against the will of the people.
 A separate provision prohibits the use of DOD funds for abortion except to save the life of the mother.