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    HomeWorldPentagon Defends Abortion Policy Ahead of Senate Fight over Defense Bill

    Pentagon Defends Abortion Policy Ahead of Senate Fight over Defense Bill

    Pentagon Defends Abortion Policy Ahead of Senate Fight over Defense Bill

    Defense Department officials on Wednesday attempted to defend a personnel policy that eases service members' access to abortion by covering travel expenses and leave for medical care as senators in for a legislative fight.

    Republicans are pushing for a vote on an amendment from Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, that would reverse the Pentagon's abortion leave policy as the Senate begins debate on the annual defense policy bill.

    Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin argued in a memo to the Senate Armed Services Committee that after a Supreme Court ruling allowed states to ban abortion, civilian and uniformed leadership agreed that “our troops should not be disadvantaged in accessing health care due to their patriotic service” and that “failing to address this issue would harm retention.”

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    The memo was prepared in conjunction with a closed-door briefing defense officials held for the committee Wednesday morning about the policy. The briefing also comes as senators and Pentagon leaders work with increasing urgency to break an impasse with Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., who has single-handedly blocked confirmation of hundreds of nominees over his objections to the abortion policy.

    “We also agreed that ensuring access to high-quality health care, including non-covered reproductive health care [health care that cannot be performed…

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