Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced their plans to offer abortion access and abortion counseling to veterans and eligible dependents in cases of rape, incest, and pregnancies that endanger the life or health of the mother.
This ruling would allow VA physicians to perform abortions on federal property in states where abortion is illegal or restricted, including in Wisconsin. Wisconsin law currently permits abortions in the case of a medical emergency, but not for cases of rape and incest.
VA Secretary Denis McDonough called the move “a patient safety decision,” and argued that “pregnant veterans. . .deserve to have access to world-class reproductive care.”
Gracie Skogman, Wisconsin Right to Life’s legislative/PAC director responded, “Under the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, the question of abortion was returned to each state to decide. This action from VA constitutes administrative overreach, and contradicts the Dobbs determination.”
Skogman continued, “Abortion is not healthcare, and the federal government should not be in the business of intentionally killing the preborn children of its citizens. Our veterans deserve better, and our preborn children deserve better.”
According to the press release from VA, these services could be “authorized immediately after the interim final rule is published, and the rule will be available for public comment for 30 days thereafter. Once the rule is published, VA will immediately prepare to provide these services in as many locations as possible.”