© 2022 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

The VA says it will provide abortions in some cases even in states where it's banned

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs building is seen in Washington, D.C., in 2019.
Alastair Pike
/
AFP via Getty Images
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs building is seen in Washington, D.C., in 2019.

The Department of Veterans Affairs says it will start providing abortions in certain circumstances, even in states where it's illegal or restricted.

The new policy came in response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, which allowed state governments to decide whether to permit abortions.

Since then, a number of states have implemented full bans on the procedure or drastically limited it.

Now, the VA says it's stepping in to offer abortions in order to protect the health and lives of veterans in places where they can no longer access such reproductive care.

Under a new interim final rule, pregnant veterans and VA beneficiaries will be able to get abortions if their life or health would be in danger if the pregnancy went to term. Patients whose pregnancies were the result of rape or incest will also be eligible for abortions.

The department said it would prepare to offer the services in as many places as possible as soon as the rule is published.

"We came to this decision after listening to VA health care providers and Veterans across the country, who sounded the alarm that abortion restrictions are creating a medical emergency for those we serve," Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the VA's undersecretary for health, said in a statement.

"Offering this care will save Veterans' health and lives, and there is nothing more important than that," he added.

The department said determinations of whether a pregnant person's life or health was in danger would be made on a case-by-case basis and involve consultation between VA health care providers and patients.

The department says its employees are able to avoid state restrictions "when working within the scope of their federal employment."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content