Armed Services Committee Rejects Amendment to Allow Abortions at Military Facilities

By Lauretta Brown | April 28, 2016 | 6:58pm EDT
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. (AP Photo, File)

( – The House Armed Services Committee voted down an amendment Wednesday evening that would have allowed “service members and their dependents to receive abortion services at defense medical facilities (MTFs) if they personally provide funding.”

At a committee markup, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) argued strongly against the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, one of several proposed by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.). It was ultimately voted down 25-37.

“We want to make bases of our military abortion clinics, and I think it dishonors those who gave everything they had for this country and what it stands for,” Franks argued. “I think it’s time for all of us to ask the real question as hard as it is and that is, does abortion really take the life of a baby?”

“Those lying out in Arlington National Cemetery died for a principle suggesting that we hold certain truths to be self-evident--that all of us are created, that the Imago Dei, the image of God, is stamped on every soul, and that every little child has that image stamped on their souls,” Franks said.

“So when the gentle lady that introduced the amendment suggests that there is an intensity and kind of a contention surrounding the debate she is precisely accurate.”

Franks said the contention has to do with “our collective conscience,” noting that ultrasound technology “is beginning to demonstrate to all reasonable minds, to all people of goodwill, to all people of compassion the humanity of the victim here, and the inhumanity of what is being done to them.”

Federal law in effect since 1996 prohibits abortions by Department of Defense medical personnel or at DOD medical facilities. Use of DOD funds for abortion is also prohibited except to save the life of the mother.

Speier argued on behalf of her amendment that “if we truly believe that our service members who are women are not second class citizens give them the right to have the abortion at a military facility in which they pay for it themselves.”

“Physicians at that facility know how to do that procedure, because they have done dilations and cerclages and dilations and evacuations for women who are there on base or are the dependents of members who are on base when it’s a miscarriage situation,” she said.

Franks pointed to the high rate of abortion in the U.S., and had strong words about abortion advocates.

“It’s always difficult for me to understand the fact that we take the lives of over a million children a year in America that that is somehow not enough for my friends on the left,” he said.

“That they not only want abortion on demand for any reason, at any stage of development, or for no reason, up until the moment of birth and they want the government to pay for it,” he continued. “Now I would challenge them to suggest what part of that statement isn’t true.”

“Our job here is to make sure that our men and women that defend this country are capable of doing so and giving them every opportunity they have,” Franks concluded, “not to politicize military bases and to overlook the notion that what we’re doing here is something that hurts little babies and hurts their mothers.”

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