Economy

Pentagon releases data on controversial abortion travel policy for service members

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The Department of Defense has released partial data for its policy that covered travel expenses for service members seeking an abortion. 

The policy authorized administrative absences as well as travel and transportation allowances that gave service members and their dependents access to ‘non-covered reproductive healthcare.’ That includes non-covered abortion and assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization, ovarian stimulations and egg retrieval. 

Per figures released Tuesday, this policy was used 12 times between June and December 2023, Deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said. 

The number accounts for how many times the policy was used, not how many people used it. Therefore, it could have been used several times by the same service member. 

In those 12 instances mentioned, the total cost paid by the Pentagon was slightly under $40,800. Singh did not disclose what specific non-covered reproductive healthcare services were used due to privacy concerns.

Singh said the DOD’s respective services were given an August deadline to submit data. Some were earlier than others, which accounts for no data being available from January to May 2023. 

The Biden administration introduced the policy in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling the summer prior that overturned Roe v. Wade. It proved controversial, igniting an uproar among Republican lawmakers who tried to kill it. 

In February 2023, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., embarked on a one-man crusade by blocking President Biden’s military nominations over what he described as the Pentagon’s ‘illegal’ policy of providing travel expense reimbursement to service members who seek an abortion. He finally ended his campaign in December. 

Fox News Digital’s Jamie Joseph contributed to this report.

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