(TPM) – Following Friday’s Supreme Court ruling, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that the Pentagon would work to secure access to reproductive healthcare for military personnel and their families, as well as civilian employees.
The department faces challenges now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, since there is currently no policy in place to assist those seeking an abortion, but are stationed in a state that has made the procedure difficult to obtain.
Shortly after the ruling was handed down, Austin released a statement.
“Nothing is more important to me or to this Department than the health and well-being of our Service members, the civilian workforce and DOD families,” he said. “I am committed to taking care of our people and ensuring the readiness and resilience of our Force.”
“The Department is examining this decision closely and evaluating our policies to ensure we continue to provide seamless access to reproductive health care as permitted by federal law.”
As Axios reports, federal law currently only permits the performing of abortions at military medical facilities in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger.
The military’s health program has similar restrictions.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, as of 2020 women make up 16 percent of the military’s enlisted forces and 19 percent of the officer corps, and most are of reproductive age.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to give states the ability to decide where they stand on abortion, many departments, organizations, and companies have come out saying that they will work to continue providing access to reproductive healthcare for employees, especially those for whom it may be hard to obtain.