Abortion rights for servicemembers

This is a problem fixable with an appropriations rider. Why not do it?

For reasons unknown, reddit.com linked today to this item from two years ago, about the Congressional ban on funding abortions for servicemembers and their families. The specific case involved an anencephalic fetus.

I have more sympathy than most commenters for the tough place Congressional Democrats find themselves in. But I can’t see why a simple provision requiring that abortions be paid for in cases where the fetus is certain to die before its first birthday can’t be attached to the Defense Appropriations bill. (If the family in this specific case has actually paid back the $3000, another provision could require that they be made whole.) If Senate Republicans want to filibuster or the President wants to veto the entire defense appropriation over this issue, they can be my guest.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com