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New abortion fight brewing

June 8, 2010 at 10:23 AM

WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- A new fight is brewing over the issue of abortion, this time involving the U.S. military, lawmakers on both sides of the issue say.

An amendment to a defense policy bill approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee late last month would lift the military's long-established ban on abortions at overseas military hospitals, The Washington Times reported Tuesday.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., would allow doctors at military hospitals to perform abortions but require women to pay for them upfront and without government funds.

Burris says military personnel deserve the highest quality of care.

But pro-life lawmakers, including Rep. William M. Thornberry, R-Texas, argue that under the measure taxpayer dollars would still be used to pay doctors and for surgical equipment used for abortions.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, says joining the military "shouldn't cause women to lose healthcare options if they're stationed overseas."

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