My Twitter stream has been a flutter this week with feminist joy at how often speakers have mentioned women's rights and 'choice' at the Democratic National Convention. Sandra Fluke knocked it out of the park with her speech, but we still have a lot of work to do if in six months our President does have our back.
One area where I want to see President Obama have our collective backs is the issue of military women and abortion. Current law bans servicewomen from using their own insurance to pay for abortion services if they become pregnant as the result of rape. According to Stand Up for Servicewomen:
Current law forbids military hospitals from providing abortion care except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment— even if the woman pays with her own funds. Because physicians on military bases are prohibited from providing abortion care, servicewomen are often forced to choose between taking leave and traveling far distances to an American provider, seeking services from a local, unfamiliar health care facility (if abortion is legal and they are not in a combat zone), having an unsafe procedure, or attempting to self-induce an abortion.While their ads are powerful (see below), I want more than just the Shaheen Amendment. I want every woman who serves this country to have their legal right to abortion met in every military hospital. Not just in case of rape, but when a woman decides she cannot carry a pregnancy to term. I will accept that we need to take small steps sometimes, but I fear that this small step will be all that we will get.