“We made this decision after listening to healthcare providers and VA veterans across the country, who have sounded the alarm that abortion restrictions are creating a medical emergency. for those we serve,” said Shereef Elnahal, the VA’s undersecretary of health. A liberation. “Providing this care will save Veterans’ health and lives, and there is nothing more important than that.
The context: The move comes after 25 senators from the Democratic caucus pushed the agency to make regulatory changes to allow it to provide abortion care. As it isCongress’s Hyde Amendment limits federal funding for abortions for active military members, and a 1992 law prohibits abortion care for military veterans or retirees.
Democratic senators, including Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Patty Murray of Washington, argued that the agency has the authority to provide abortion care under the Veterans Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996.
The move may face potential legal challenges. Republicans pushed back, saying the VA would violate the 1992 law that bars it from offering abortions if it follows the rule.
The VA argued in the rule that the 1992 law does not prevent it from updating the scope of “necessary” medical care to include abortions.
Democrats have lobbied the Biden administration to expand abortion access following the June Supreme Court ruling that allowed states to ban the procedure, including offering abortions on federal lands.