Abortion-Limit Stands at U.S. Military Hospitals Overseas
WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 26, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a measure to allow elective abortions in military hospitals overseas by a vote of 233 to 194.
"Our military hospitals have a proud and honorable tradition of saving lives in the most threatening regions and circumstances," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, spokeswoman for the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "They should not be forced into the dishonorable business of abortion."
In 1988 the Reagan administration established a policy prohibiting elective abortions in military hospitals.
The policy was overturned by President Bill Clinton in 1993, but a military survey of Army, Navy and Air Force doctors stationed in Europe was unable to find medical personnel in the armed services willing to perform abortions.
Congress overturned the Clinton policy in 1996 and the House measure on Wednesday was an attempt to reinstate it.
The measure, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act offered by Representative Susan Davis, a California Democrat, was intended to strike from existing law a longstanding ban on the performance of abortions at military hospitals overseas.
The existing ban contains exceptions for cases where the mother's life is endangered or where pregnancy occurred from rape or incest.