Sens. Al Franken and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have sponsored a bipartisan bill that would require military medical facilities to include emergency contraceptives among medications available to servicewomen.
A statement from mid-December at Franken’s web site says current Department of Defense policy allows military hospitals and clinics to carry the contraceptive, also known as the “morning-after pill,” but it’s not required — which means servicewomen don’t have the same access to it as the general public.
“All servicewomen should have the same access to this medication as civilians do,” Franken said. “The fact that more than 2,900 sexual assaults were reported last year in the military—a nine percent increase—only heightens the need to ensure emergency contraception is always available.”
The Compassionate Care for Servicewomen Act (S.2904) would also allow women to receive emergency contraception without prior approval.
The bill has 12 cosponsors, although Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — an EMILY’s List endorsee — is not among them. The bill has been referred to committee and won’t be considered until late in the year, the Army Times reports.