Because Women Who Serve Our Country Don’t Deserve Full Health Care Access

14 Dec

A guest post by Kelly Baden of Schooling Chris Smith.

The House of Representatives recently passed, by voice vote, the Women Veterans Bill of Rights. Sounds great, right? This bill of rights recognizes the unique health care needs of women and requires facilities operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs to post a sign detailing these rights for women veterans.

Included among them are the right to be treated with dignity and respect; the right to “coordinated, comprehensive, primary women’s care” including gender-specific and mental health care; and the right to gender equity in clinical health care services.

Seems like a no-brainer, right? Who wouldn’t support equal health care for the women who serve our country? But of course, antichoice members of Congress were not happy. Even the National Right to Life Committee opposed the bill.

So, does this bill, like, fund abortions then? Does it, gulp, declare abortion as a fundamental health care right for women? Of course not (though I wish it did). But that doesn’t stop the antis from turning it into a political issue about abortion. And of course Chris Smith had to speak on the House floor technically in support of this Women Veterans Bill of Rights but really to spout more antiabortion nonsense and lies.

A sampling of his comments, which can be read in full here:

“Abortion hurts women’s health and puts future children subsequently born to women who aborted at significant risk.”

“At least 28 studies–including three in 2009–show that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer by some 30-40 percent or more yet the abortion industry has largely succeeded in suppressing these facts.” (See the truth about abortion and breast cancer here.)

“Abortion isn’t safe for subsequent children born to women who have had an abortion.”

As a “compromise”, the prochoice sponsor of the bill added new language to explicitly ensure that abortion and abortion counseling were excluded from this bill of rights. Nice to know prochoice members of Congress have our backs, right ladies? Oh wait. They don’t.


4 Responses to “Because Women Who Serve Our Country Don’t Deserve Full Health Care Access”

  1. juliewashere88 December 15, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    I’ve been a soldier in the US Army for going on four years now, and I’ve seen more than my share of anti-women shit, but the way the matter of women’s health is treated is the worst.
    I’m very disappointed that this bill of rights didn’t include coverage for abortion, especially as pregnancy costs the Army not only more money, but puts soldiers out of service either for long periods or permanently. It’s worst when it happens overseas. When I was in Iraq, at least two women in my company became pregnant. The first was sent home, leaving a hole in her platoon. The other didn’t find out until towards the end of the deployment.
    To avoid not only the pregnancy, but punishment for having sex deployed, women will attempt abortions. There’s no Planned Parenthood to go to, so women take matters into their own hands in unsafe ways.
    However, it isn’t just abortion rights that get mishandled. Even matters as simple as contraception can be made difficult. In order to make an appointment at the OB/GYN clinic, I’m required to have a referral from my provider. I don’t get to pick my provider. It’s assigned for me. My last one told me outright that she would not refer me to get Essure, or even an IUD (which she told me causes STD’s, rather than simply not preventing them.) It wasn’t until my provider was replaced almost 2 years later that I was able to get a referral.
    Even then, he refused me Essure, but at least gave me an IUD.
    I can’t pick my doctors or clinics. They’re all assigned to me. If I went to say, a Planned Parenthood, even for an IUD, tricare would not pay for it.

  2. TiG December 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm #


    Please please PLEASE utilize your VA patient advocate’s office.

    And although VA care hasn’t typically been great for womens’ issues, it’s sure as heck getting better by the day. All WH providers and NCM’s go to specialized training (at least in our VISN) and they have staff who are SO committed to helping female vets, especially OEF/OIF, but we have elderly female vets as well.

    Don’t give up on us!! We’re proud to serve our vets!

  3. juliewashere88 December 17, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    Thanks, I will. 🙂


  1. Tweets that mention Because Women Who Serve Our Country Don’t Deserve Full Health Care Access | Abortion Gang -- - December 14, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brittney White, The Abortion Gang. The Abortion Gang said: new post: Because Women Who Serve Our Country Don't Deserve Full Health Care Access #prochoice […]

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