Politics

Dept. of Veterans Affairs announces it will provide abortion services regardless of state restrictions

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Friday it will provide abortion services to veterans in certain cases, regardless of whether the case occurs in a state with strict abortion laws.

“VA will provide access to abortions when the life or health of the pregnant Veteran would be endangered if the pregnancy were carried to term, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. VA beneficiaries enrolled in CHAMPVA will also have access to this care,” the announcement reads. 

“VA will be able to offer abortion counseling and abortions to pregnant Veterans and VA beneficiaries in cases of rape, incest, or when the life or health of the Veteran would be endangered if the pregnancy were carried to term — in accordance with generally accepted standards of medical practice,” said VA’s Under Secretary for Health Dr. Shereef Elnahal.

“We came to this decision after listening to VA health care providers and Veterans across the country, who sounded the alarm that abortion restrictions are creating a medical emergency for those we serve. Offering this care will save Veterans’ health and lives, and there is nothing more important than that.”

The final roadblock in implementing the reproductive care announcement is waiting for the interim final rule to be published, which may happen as soon as later this week.

“This is a patient safety decision,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough. “Pregnant Veterans and VA beneficiaries deserve to have access to world-class reproductive care when they need it most. That’s what our nation owes them, and that’s what we at VA will deliver.”

The announcement comes as tensions over reproductive rights continue to heighten across the nation following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade in June.

The VA defended its decision to provide access to abortions and other care by pointing out that “access to medically necessary abortions is essential for preserving the life and health of Veterans and VA beneficiaries. Restricting access to abortion care has well-documented adverse health consequences, including increased risk of loss of future fertility, significant morbidity, or death. Veterans are also at greater risk of experiencing pregnancy-related complications due to increased rates of chronic health conditions.”

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CHRON.COM

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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