December 5, 2012 — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a Department of Defense authorization bill (S 3254) that includes an amendment allowing the military's health plan to cover abortion care in cases of rape or incest, Reuters/Chicago Tribune reports (Reuters/Chicago Tribune, 12/4). The measure also authorizes DOD to provide abortions at military facilities (Barnes, Wall Street Journal, 12/4).
The Senate and House (HR 4310) versions of the bill have to be reconciled before a final measure can be sent to President Obama.
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said he is confident that lawmakers will be able to resolve differences between the two bills. However, Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said reaching a compromise before the end of this Congress will be a challenge (Reuters/Chicago Tribune, 12/4).
Obama has threatened a veto if the final bill includes certain provisions, such as restrictions on detainee transfers (Wall Street Journal, 12/4). The White House also objects to the differences from the Pentagon's budget proposal (Reuters/Chicago Tribune, 12/4).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership