Wicker Says Abortions at Military Hospitals would Strain Doctors and Impact Care for Troops

August 3, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today questioned Dr. Jonathan Woodson, President Obama’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, on the strain that may be placed on the military if Congress removes the ban on the use of military medical facilities to perform abortions.

“At a time when we are fighting two wars and facing a severe shortage of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel, Congress should not be adding unnecessary pressure to these professionals by allowing abortions at military medical facilities,” said Wicker, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Our military health care facilities should be a place for healing our men and women who serve in uniform and treating their families, not diverting the attention of our understaffed personnel to assist in the destruction of innocent human life.”

Earlier this year, Senator Roland Burris (D-Ill.) included language in the Defense Authorization bill that would reverse a long-standing ban on the use of Department of Defense (DoD) medical facilities both foreign and domestic to perform abortions. Under the current law, DoD is restricted from using funds for abortions to be performed by medical personnel or in medical facilities except in the cases where the life of the mother is at risk or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.  If confirmed, Dr. Woodson would be in charge of implementing the Burris language.

“This legislation is yet another example of the Obama administration’s attempts to expand abortion both foreign and domestically,” added Wicker. “If enacted, this amendment would further burden our military personnel at a time when Congress and the Defense Department should be focused on ways to increase support and care for our troops fighting to defend our country.”

If the Burris language remains in the Defense Authorization bill, taxpayer funded facilities would be used to support abortion on demand, and resources could also be used to search for, hire, and transport new personnel to perform abortions.

The Defense Authorization Bill passed the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 28, 2010. The Senate is scheduled to consider passage of the bill in September.

Click here to watch Senator Wicker’s comments in today’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.