I received an email today from our friends at SWAN (Service Women’s Action Network.) While most of the attention on the National Defense Authorization Act has been focused on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, important strides have been made for military women and their families. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted to end the ban on private funding for abortions at military hospitals and facilities. The ban has been in effect since 1995. According to SWAN, “[t]his amendment (sponsored by Sen. Roland Burris, D-III.) will strike down the policy that prohibits service women, military spouses and daughters from exercising their reproductive freedom. ”
The NDAA also includes recommendations from the DOD’s 2009 Sexual Assault Task Force:
These recommendations will expand legal rights for service members who have been victims of sexual assault, improve training in the military related to the prevention of and response to this crime, set up telephone and online help lines, and professionalize the role of the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) within the DoD.
This is a great step forward for our military and for our country.
Kim is MYD’s Community Service Director. Interested in giving back? Contact her at service [at] goMYD [dot] com.