Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Pentagon Requires Military to Dispense "Emergency Contraception"

The Obama administration recently made another move against the sanctity of life when the Pentagon declared that all military treatment facilities will be required to stock up on "emergency contraception" despite the drug's dangerous impact on women and its abortifacient properties. This decision is problematic in several ways as Denise Burke with Americans United for Life explains in this fine report.

Sadly, this appears to represent the achievement of one of the abortion lobby’s top tactical objectives against the U.S. military. For years, pro-abortion activists have sought to require that all MTFs – both in the U.S. and overseas – provide “emergency contraception” and elective abortions – abortions paid for at taxpayer expense as is all military medical care. To achieve these objectives, they must circumvent not only opposition among many military health care providers, but also existing DOD protections for health care rights of conscience.

Pursuant to DOD and individual service directives, military health care providers may refuse to participate, directly or indirectly, in medical procedures that they find morally or religiously objectionable. As with other rights of religious accommodation, this right will be balanced against military necessity and the potential adverse affect on unit readiness, individual readiness, unit cohesion, morale, discipline, safety, or health. Any refusals to provide medical care based on religious objections must be disclosed in advance to the provider’s chain of command and to patients as the need arises.

However, requiring MTFs to stock “emergency contraception” and individual providers to dispense it will eviscerate these protections. It is important to remember that military members including health care providers will not be able to walk away from their duties because they object to “emergency contraception.” They cannot simply find another job. They are bound by service contracts – contracts that typically obligate them to military service for a minimum of 3 years and more commonly 4 to 8 years or more – and, more importantly, they are bound by their sense of duty and obligation to their nation and to their fellow service members. Many of them are serving or have served with distinction in combat zones in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

However, forced to violate their consciences, many military providers will leave the military when their service contracts expire, endangering quality of care and military readiness. Pro-abortion supporters have to understand the difficult position that they are putting our service members in, but they do not care. Their radical agenda preempts everything including military readiness and national security.

Once they get the proverbial “camel’s nose under the tent” by requiring the provision of “emergency contraception” regardless of individual providers’ objections, there is a clear path toward requiring that elective abortions be performed in military hospitals, by military doctors, and at U.S. taxpayer expense.

However, the battle has not necessarily been won. It is important to remember that, in April 2002, DOD issued a similar directive requiring that “emergency contraception” be carried at all MTFs and military pharmacies. However, this mandate was quickly rescinded a month later. As in 2002, pro-life Americans must voice their objections to this latest attempt to force military hospitals and health care providers to dispense “emergency contraception” and it too can be hastily withdrawn.

(For more information on “emergency contraception" see this article.

Below is my letter (which I hope you might use as a model for your own) which I sent via this page of the DoD's web site.

I would like to urge the Department of Defense to drop its new policy requiring MTFs to stock "emergency contraception" drugs. Why? 1) These powerful drugs have been proven to carry serious health risks to women; 2) They have potential abortifacient actions which thus involves our military in lethal actions against preborn boys and girls; and 3) The new policy creates undue and unfair pressures on health personnel to act against their pro-life conscience, creating a terrible problem in military morale. Please reconsider your decision on this important matter.