Bill To Watch – Emergency Contraception at Military Health Facilities

An upcoming bill sponsored by Representative Michael Michaud (D) of Maine (HR 4386) was filed on December 16, 2009.  It calls for an amendment to  title 10, United States Code, to require emergency contraception to be available at all military health care treatment facilities.  Full text of the bill was not yet available at this time.  Co-sponsors include Rep. Susan Davis, (D) CA, Rep. Jane Harman, (D) CA, Rep. Tim Ryan, (D) OH, and Rep. Niki Tsongas, (D) MA. It has been referred to the House Armed Services committee.

I am interested to see the text of this bill, and to see how much Republican and Right-Wing push back there is on this – a woman’s reproductive and health – issue.

Title 10 of the US Code is a daunting piece of literature.  Here is a portion of text I pulled regarding abortion and the funding thereof:

Note – I have edited out a bunch of numerical references – if you dare take on the fullness of Title 10 click here.

10 USC Sec. 1093   01/05/2009  -EXPCITE-  TITLE 10 – ARMED FORCES


-HEAD- Sec. 1093. Performance of abortions: restrictions


(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 whichthe pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.

PRIOR PROVISIONS Provisions similar to those in subsec. (a) of this section were contained in the following appropriation acts (see FULL TEXT for all references)  AMENDMENTS  1996 – Pub. L. 104-106, Sec. 738(b)(1), amended section catchline generally, substituting “Performance of abortions: restrictions” for “Restrictions on use of funds for abortions”.  Pub. L. 104-106, Sec. 738(a), designated existing provisions as  subsec. (a), inserted subsec. heading, and added subsec. (b).  EFFECTIVE DATE  Section effective Oct. 1, 1985, see section 1404 of Pub. L. 98- 525, set out as a note under section 520b of this title.

And then, before moving on to the less daunting dental care provisions, William Jefferson Clinton throws this in:

PRIVATELY FUNDED ABORTIONS AT MILITARY HOSPITALS     Memorandum of the President of the United States, Jan. 22, 1993,  58 F.R. 6439, provided:  Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense Section 1093 of title 10 of the United States Code prohibits the use of Department of Defense (“DOD”) funds to perform abortions except where the life of a woman would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term. By memoranda of December 21, 1987, and June 21, 1988, DOD has gone beyond what I am informed are the requirements of the statute and has banned all abortions at U.S. military facilities, even where the procedure is privately funded. This ban is unwarranted. Accordingly, I hereby direct that you reverse the ban immediately and permit abortion services to be provided, if paid for entirely with non-DOD funds and in accordance with other relevant DOD policies and procedures. You are hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

William J. Clinton.

Keep your eyes on this bill – this is a BIG deal for women’s reproductive rights.

Further Reading:

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