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ACOG Commends President and Congress for Standing up for Servicewomen

January 3, 2013

Washington, DC -- The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) applauds President Obama and the US Congress for supporting women in military service to our nation in the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Language included by Sen. Jean Shaheen (D-NH), with bipartisan support by the Congress and the president will, for the first time, ensure that servicewomen and the wives and daughters of service members have insurance coverage of abortions when a pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

Under long-standing policy, women covered under Medicaid, Medicare, the Indian Health Service, and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program are able to receive insurance coverage for abortions in cases of rape, incest, or when a pregnancy threatens the life of the woman. Until today’s enactment of the FY2013 NDAA, military women and women in military families were only covered in cases in which a pregnancy threatened the life of the woman. Under Sen. Shaheen’s leadership, Congress and the president agreed that it is absolutely unacceptable that our servicewomen would be eligible for less comprehensive health care.

“ACOG supports the efforts of Congress and the president to rectify such an unjust policy,” said ACOG President James T. Breeden, MD. “Servicewomen and military families who risk so much for our freedoms must have access to the same health care as any civilian covered by a federal health insurance program.”

Women today comprise approximately 14.5% of active duty military and 18% of the National Guard and Reserve. In 2008, the US Congress heard testimony that 41% of female veterans seen at a California Veterans Administration Health Center were victims of sexual abuse while in the military and 29% reported being raped during their military service. Our nation’s service members and their families should be assured high-quality accessible health care. Today’s legislation helps achieve this important goal.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 56,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org

 

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