Civilians who work for the government are able to use their government-funded insurance to pay for abortion if they're victims of rape or incest, but not our female servicemembers. And now, thanks to frustrating inaction from the Senate yesterday, the unbelievably stupid restriction on abortion for military victims of rape continues apace. Sorry, ladies. You should have tried not being so rapeable if you didn't want to have a baby.
The Huffington Post reports that on Wednesday the Senate declined to vote on New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Saheen's amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. The Shaheen Amendment would have restored abortion coverage for military rape victims who became pregnant as a result of their sexual assaults. Saheen argued that it didn't seem fair that women supposedly defending the rights of Americans were themselves denied the rights civilians enjoy.
Leadership in the Senate disagreed, sort of, saying the amendment wasn't germane to the legislation and thus won't even be up for discussion. Better luck next time, rape victims.
Yesterday's fuckery is curiously similar to House inaction on another measure earlier this year. A Republican-led committee blocked a vote on a Democratic-sponsored amendment similar to Saheen's, probably because some Republicans don't want to go on the record denying rights for members of the military, but they're also in the middle of fighting a very important war against women and want to be as pro-fetus as possible at all times. Pro life groups, predictably, are applauding the Senate's inaction.
Tossing around a phrase like "pro life" when discussing the military is at best ironic and at worst cruel. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the most "pro life" thing we could possibly do for servicemembers is try to keep them alive and away from wars, which occasionally lead to death. We could also do a lot better job of taking care of them when they're no longer soldiers. I'd imagine that sanctimonious pols and pundits using the phrase "pro life" when it applies to fetuses but not grown ass adult soldiers is a bit of a slap in the face for servicemembers who are actually risking their, you know, lives. But I digress!
Serving in the military has the potential to be traumatic enough. It's a good thing that we've got legislators that understand that the best cure for the added trauma of rape is a 9 month pregnancy followed by a baby who sort of looks like the guy who raped you.