McDonough: VA Looking at ‘Reproductive Health Care’ Options in States with Abortion Restrictions

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that his department will “make sure” veterans have reproductive health care access after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade with the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision.

Anchor Jake Tapper asked, “Twenty-four Senate Democrats sent you a letter this week urging you to allow abortion services at veterans hospitals, and analysis by the National Partnership for Women found nearly 400,000 female veterans of reproductive age live in states certain or likely to ban abortion. Will the VA take this measure and allow abortion services at VA hospitals even in states where abortion is banned?”

McDonough said, “Thanks very much for the question. There are 300,000 women veterans of child-bearing age who rely on us for their reproductive health care, for all their health care. We’re going to make sure they have access to the full slate of that care because that’s what we owe them.”

Tapper said, “In those states are you going to pay to fly them?”

McDonough continued, “We’re looking expressly at these questions about how we guarantee the life and the health of our veterans, our women veterans. Those 300,000 who rely on us for their care. I don’t have any announcements to make on that this morning, Jake, but we’re looking closely at that to ensure there’s no reduction in services to them and no risk to their lives as a result of these decisions.”

Tapper said, “Is your preference be that it be at the VA hospitals in the states we’re talking about.”

McDonough replied, “My preference is those 300,000 women veterans, that’s the fastest growing corps in our care, women’s veterans, my preference is they not face risk to their lives as a result of this decision from the court.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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