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Pentagon To Fund Abortion Travel For Service Members And Families

KAISER HEALTH NEWS | KHN Morning Briefing: Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a series of policies Thursday aimed at shoring up access to reproductive health care for troops and their dependents. The moves include paying travel costs for families assigned to states that restrict abortion, extending the time a pregnancy must be disclosed, and adding privacy protections.

AP: Pentagon To Provide Funds, Help For Troops Seeking Abortions
The Pentagon will provide travel funds and support for troops and their dependents who seek abortions but are based in states where they are now illegal, according to a new department policy released Thursday. The military will also increase privacy protections for those seeking care. The order issued by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin outlines the rights and protections service members and their dependents will have regardless of where they are based, which was a key concern of troops after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. (Copp, 10/20)

Politico: Pentagon Will Pay For Service Members To Travel For Abortions
“Our Service members and their families are often required to travel or move to meet our staffing, operational, and training requirements. Such moves should not limit their access to reproductive health care,” Austin wrote. The “practical effects of recent changes” will ultimately hurt military readiness, Austin wrote, referring to the Supreme Court’s June decision to strike down Roe v. Wade. (Seligman, 10/20)

President Biden made his own move to support abortion rights —

Axios: First Look: Biden Backs Federal Fund For Abortion Support
President Biden would support a federal fund for people who need to take time off work and pay for childcare to obtain an abortion, he said in an interview forum with NowThis that will air Sunday on social media. (Fischer, 10/20)

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In news from Arizona —

The 19th: Abortion In Arizona: Back-And-Forth Decisions On State Laws Create Confusion
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, almost every clinic in Arizona immediately stopped providing abortions, worried that a ban passed in 1864 might now outlaw the procedure entirely. Over the next three and a half months, the laws would bounce from court to court as different judges offered different interpretations of the right to abortion in Arizona and whether clinics could provide any abortions at all. (Luthra, 10/20)

Also —

KHN: Awaiting Voters’ Decision On Abortion, When Medicine And Politics Collide
The fight over abortion is steaming toward a political resolution across the state as activists, policymakers, politicians, providers, and would-be-patients eye the Nov. 8 election. Voters will decide on Proposal 3, which, if approved, would install protections for a woman’s right to have an abortion in the Michigan Constitution. (King Collier, 10/21)

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