What: All Issues : Family Planning : Abortion : H.R. 1815. Abortion/Defense/Vote on Amendment to Lift Restrictions on Termination of Pregnancies for U.S. Servicewomen.
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H.R. 1815. Abortion/Defense/Vote on Amendment to Lift Restrictions on Termination of Pregnancies for U.S. Servicewomen.
house Roll Call 216     May 25, 2005
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

In this vote, the House defeated an amendment to H.R. 1815 offered by Susan Davis (D-CA) to lift the existing restrictions on termination of pregnancies for U.S. servicewomen. H.R. 1815 was a bill to authorize military activities of the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2006 (FY06). Existing law forbade servicewomen from receiving services to terminate pregnancies in U.S. military health care facilities. Taking the Progressive position, Davis noted that "Servicewomen do not receive the protection of the Constitution they defend." She explained that the current rule forced servicewomen "to return home for medical services after obtaining permission from their commanding officer and finding space on military transport. The other option for them is venturing out to a hospital in a foreign country if, in fact, they are able to do that." Davis stated that her amendment would "permit[] servicewomen to walk into a U.S. military hospital, a familiar and trusted place, to use their own private funds for safe and legal pregnancy termination services." Republicans opposed the amendment, arguing that "[a]llowing self-funded abortions would simply turn our military hospitals overseas into abortion clinics." (Jim Ryun (R-KS).) In addition, they argued that as U.S. taxpayer dollars funded the military health facilities where abortions would be performed, it would be wrong to require taxpayers to support pregnancy terminations for servicewomen. Ryun also noted that "overseas military hospitals already offer self-funded abortions when the life of the mother is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest." Progressives lost on this vote when the amendment failed 194 to 233, with 30 Democrats crossing party lines to vote "no," while 22 Republicans chose to vote "yes" with the Progressives. Thus, the restrictions forbidding servicewomen from receiving services to terminate pregnancies in U.S. military health care facilities remained in place.

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