National Partnership for Women & Families

Senate Appropriations Committee Acted “Wisely” in Lifting the Ban on Abortion Coverage for Peace Corps Volunteers Victimized by Violence or Who Need Life-Saving Care

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — June 19, 2014 —

“We commend the Senate Appropriations Committee for acting wisely to lift the ban on coverage for abortion for Peace Corps volunteers who suffered rape or incest, or whose lives would be jeopardized by continuing a pregnancy, in the State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill. This is a welcome and long overdue step toward fair and equal treatment of women who volunteer for their country in the Peace Corps. It would finally give Peace Corps volunteers the same abortion coverage as other women who get their health insurance through the federal government. It’s about time.

Peace Corps volunteers are one of the last groups of women without coverage for abortion care in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment — and that is, simply, wrong. The inequity is particularly glaring given that more than three in five Peace Corps volunteers are women. Peace Corps volunteers deserve the same protections as other women who rely on the government for their coverage.

We urge the House to follow the Senate’s lead and finally put an end to the days when women Peace Corps volunteers are singled out for more limited health coverage.”

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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