Military Abortion Policy

 

According to a 1984 law, Department of Defense funds may not be used to pay for abortions, except to save the mother’s life. Also, in accord with a 1996 law, U.S. military facilities cannot be used to perform abortions, except to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest (10 USC Sec. 1093(a)(b)).

Senate: On May 25, 2012, during markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted, 16-yes, 10-no, to allow Department of Defense funds to be used for abortions in cases of rape or incest. This would amend current law that allowed funding only for abortions to save the mother’s life. . On June 4, 2012, S. 3254 was reported out of committee with this change.

House: On May 18, 2012, the House passed its National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 4310). The restriction on use of Department of Defense funds to pay for abortions only to save the mother’s life was unchanged.

Conference Report: H.R. 4310 became the primary bill for the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization bill. In conference, the House yielded to the Senate on adding the exception for rape or incest. With this change included, the House and the Senate approved the Conference Report on December 20 and 21, 2012, respectively.

Law: On January 2, 2013, the President signed H. R. 4310 into law.