October 21, 2022

Duckworth Applauds DoD for Upholding Servicemembers’ Right to Bodily Autonomy


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years and is chair of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Subcommittee on Airland, issued the following statement after the Department of Defense released new reproductive healthcare guidance that states the DoD will provide leave and travel expenses for servicemembers seeking abortions:

“The DoD’s new policies send a clear message: the last thing servicemembers should be worried about is accessing healthcare that they have every right to,” Duckworth said. “I applaud Secretary Austin’s leadership to help ensure that our servicemembers can access abortions—no matter the state they’re stationed in or if they need off-base care. We can’t thank servicemembers for their sacrifices by telling them what they can or cannot do with the same bodies they risk time and again for our country. Just as I made my own decision about my own body when I signed up to go to war, we have to protect full reproductive rights and privacy for our nation’s heroes.”

This new guidance from the DoD states that the Department will provide leave and travel expenses for servicemembers who need to leave their base in order to receive abortion care in a different state with fewer restrictions. The new policies also rightfully protect the privacy of servicemembers seeking care and as well as safeguard military healthcare providers.