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Senate Committee Considering Defense Authorization Bill; House Action Next Week

At press time on September 7, the Senate Armed Services Committee was working toward approving its FY2002 defense authorization bill (S. 1155). The committee began its mark-up on September 5. Bill details will be made available at the conclusion of the mark-up.

Next week, the House is expected to consider its version of the defense authorization bill (H.R. 2586). As approved by the committee, H.R. 2586 would maintain current law with respect to abortion policy. Under current law, the Department of Defense (DoD) covers abortions in domestic and overseas military facilities only if the life of the pregnant women is endangered, and military personnel and their dependents serving overseas are prohibited from obtaining privately funded abortions at military facilities.

During the mark-up, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) offered an amendment to repeal the restriction on privately funded abortions in overseas military facilities, but it was defeated, 23-35. She is expected to offer that amendment when the bill reaches the floor.

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