Access to Abortion is “Practically Impossible” for Military Servicemembers After Extreme Ban Came Into Effect
A new report from Savannah Morning News is shining a light on the issue of reproductive health care access for military servicemembers, for whom access to abortion care is “practically impossible” under Gov. Brian Kemp’s extreme ban. The piece notes how Georgia is home to one of the largest military and veteran communities in the country and under one of the most restrictive abortion laws, they are facing a dangerous combination for those seeking an abortion.
With women making up 1 in 5 military servicemembers, many of whom live in states where abortion is now illegal or severely restricted, Roe v. Wade’s fall and extreme state abortion bans like Georgia’s are severaly restricitng access. Lack of access to reproductive care has disproportionately impacted the military and veteran community, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
In the report, Tenee Baker, a U.S. Army veteran, shared her story of terminating a pregnancy, noting the roadblocks and difficulty of access to the procedure. Even while living in a state that had codified abortion access before the Roe v. Wade ruling, she felt “confused and violated.” The veteran said she shudders to think what will happen to other servicemembers now that abortion is no longer federally protected and now that in Georgia, abortion is illegal before many women even realize they’re pregnant. “A government entity should never tell me what to do with my body,” Baker said.
Servicemembers must travel off base to access abortion, and pay for travel and procedure costs, and with federal protections gone, more servicemembers than ever are beholden to the restrictive state lawswhere they’re stationed.
More from Savannah Morning News: Georgia’s Military Community Pleads for Better Abortion Access, Barriers too High to Cross