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A Special "Thank You" to a Pro-Choice Champion for Servicewomen

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468px-Jeanne_Shaheen,.jpgThis year's elections proved that Americans won't tolerate politicians who turn their back on rape survivors. No matter where you stand on the issue of legal abortion, it's just wrong to deny a woman who endured sexual violence access to reproductive-health care.

Under current law, military women are banned from using their military health-insurance plans to cover abortion care if they become pregnant as a result of sexual assault.

Today, the U.S. Senate took a big step toward finally paying military women the respect they deserve by adopting the language known as the Shaheen amendment in the FY '13 Department of Defense (DoD) authorization bill to lift this discriminatory policy.

Last week, President Obama marked his administration's support for lifting this ban.

Our own Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, applauded the Senate,

"Today, women in the military have come one step closer to winning protections they deserve for reproductive freedom and privacy. Denying our heroes access to complete reproductive-health care coverage not only discriminates against them but also endangers their health. Congress has an opportunity to protect and support those who selflessly serve our country. Now it's up to John Boehner to step up to this task."

But nobody has worked harder for military women than the author and namesake of the language, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D- N.H.).

Sen. Shaheen has been leading the charge to correct the current policy, which places an undue burden on the servicewomen who dedicate their lives to serving our country.

We thank Sen. Shaheen for her tireless work to end this unjust policy, and we're thrilled that the Senate stood with military women.

Now, the U.S. House of Representatives has the opportunity to end this cruel policy when they work with the Senate to approve the final version of the DoD authorization bill.

We need your help - send a strong message to Speaker John Boehner and anti-choice members of the House: We owe it to our military women to provide them with the health care they need in the tragic circumstance of sexual assault.

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