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House of Representatives Photo: Chip Somodevilla

USA: House of Representatives Approves Law That Prohibits Pentagon from Financing Abortions

Van Duyne’s amendment was approved by an adjusted vote of 214 to 207.

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(ZENIT News / Washington, DC, 17.06.2024).- On Friday, June 14, the House of Representatives approved a vast National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a crucial amendment that impedes the Pentagon from using public funds to finance abortions. This legislation,, valued at US$883,700 million, was driven by Texas Republican congresswoman Beth Van Duyne, who stressed the importance of supporting women during and after pregnancy, instead of encouraging abortion.

Van Duyne’s amendment was approved by an adjusted vote of 214 to 207. Two Republicans, John Duarte of California and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, voted against the pro-life measure, whereas Democrat  Henry Cuellar of Texas backed it. The three legislators did not respond immediately to requests for comments.

Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, has been an outstanding figure in opposing the Pentagon’s policy that promotes abortion, blocking military promotions for over 10 months. Tuberville argues that the Pentagon’s policy is illegal and violates the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the financing of the majority of abortions with federal funds. Although Tuberville lifted his blocking in December, he received criticisms from both his Democrat colleagues as well as support from conservative leaders who praised his firmness on this matter.

Pro-life groups, such as SBA Pro-Life America, celebrated the approval of the law and the anti-abortion amendment. Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House of Representatives, pointed out that the law gives the American Army the necessary tools to defend the nation, to face international threats and to support servicemen and their families.

Johnson explained that the National Defense Authorization Act not only reinforces the Army’s main mission, but also includes measures for the deployment of the National Guard on the southwest border, the acceleration of technological innovation and the improvement of the quality of life of military men and their families. The law contemplates salary increases, reduction of barriers to employment for spouses of military men, improvements in housing and access to child care.

Pentagon Policies and Responses

In October 2022, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a Memorandum to guarantee access to reproductive health care, including the financing of trips for abortions, in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Although the Department of Defense affirmed these measures, which will be implemented in keeping with Federal Law, Republicans hold that to finance such trips violates Federal Law.

With information from the Daily Signal.

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