I am a veteran and also a woman who has experienced abortion. I am appalled that VA will start providing abortions at VA hospitals and possibly civilian facilities to veterans, even in states where the procedure is illegal or restricted. Taxpayers will be paying for these procedures in conflict with the Hyde Amendment. They qualify the policy by limiting abortions to those pregnancies resulting from rape, incest, or endangering the mother’s life. Is that the case in VA? A mother’s life is rarely threatened with today’s medical advances, and there should be no incidents of incest whatsoever since the women in question are adults.
Regarding rape, the VA indicated it would not require veterans to provide proof of rape or report it to authorities. This is an open invitation for veterans to lie and become false victims. Not only is that against the law. It also sets a dangerous precedent – where less honorable veterans would feel free to lie about other issues (disability, etc.)
VA claims veterans deserve access to the best reproductive care when they need it most. They already contract out maternity services. Abortion is not reproductive care; it is the opposite and counterproductive to mental health.
As someone involved in after-abortion healing, I see firsthand the result of abortion trauma. It leads to depression, grief, and shame resulting in self-destructive behaviors. Adding that trauma to a woman who already has service-related PTSD through wartime experience or MST (Military Sexual Trauma) is dangerous and irresponsible.
We owe a debt of gratitude to all our veterans, and the VA should focus on providing services that improve their well-being, not destroy it.