National Committee for a Human Life Amendment

Military Abortion Policy

Current law governing the performance of abortion in the military has two restrictions: one on the use of funds, the other one use of facilities (10 USC 1093).

Funds may not be used to pay for abortions except to save the life of the mother. Military health care facilities may not be used to perform abortions except to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape or incest. The law on use of funds was debated beginning in the late 1970s and the current policy was in place in the early 1980s. The policy restricting the use of military health care facilities for abortion was established in a 1988 Department of Defense memorandum, which was overturned by President Clinton on January 22, 1993. Congress reversed the Clinton action in 1995, with the policy signed into statutory law February 10, 1996. Subsequent efforts to reverse this law have not been successful.