On Thursday, the Pentagon announced that it will provide travel funds and time off for members of the military to make sure they can have abortions. As the Associated Press report explains, under federal law the Pentagon's health care system can provide abortions only in the rare cases of rape or incest or when a mother's life is in danger. That doesn't change under the new policy.
That said, Conner Semelsberger of the Family Research Council contends the military is politicizing the issue.
"It is shocking that they're going to an end-around [ploy]," he tells AFN. "[They're essentially] saying, Hey, if you're a military member living in a state that doesn't allow abortions, we will being paying for your time off as well as travel expenses to go to any state you need to get abortions – all at the behest of taxpayer dollars."
But he doesn't find that tactic surprising, considering that President Joe Biden – the military's commander in chief – has taken a series of steps to make abortion more available lately:
"Starting with promoting of abortions through the Veterans Affairs, which has never done abortions outside the life of the mother – to this grand old speech the president gave the other day making abortion a top priority, saying if Democrats are re-elected goal number-one is to codify Roe v. Wade … and more come next year."
The new guidelines direct each military base to publicly display what abortion support is available for service members and their dependents, extend the time in which a service member must report a pregnancy to commanders to 20 weeks, and provide additional protections for defense health care providers who furnish abortion services.
Semelsberger says the timing of the Pentagon announcement is a "no-brainer." After all, he points out: the election is only a couple of weeks away.