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Shaheen abortion amendment signed into law

January 03. 2013 5:06PM

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's amendment to allow servicewomen coverage for abortions in cases of rape or incest was signed into law by President Barack Obama late Wednesday as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

The Shaheen amendment passed through both chambers of Congress last month with broad bipartisan support.

'After three decades of a policy that discriminated against women who put their lives on the line for us, I am so proud that we will finally begin to provide the coverage our servicewomen deserve,' Shaheen, D-N.H., said.

'Civilian women who depend on the federal government for health insurance -- whether they are postal workers or Medicaid recipients -- have the right to access affordable abortion care if they are sexually assaulted. It is only fair that the thousands of brave women in uniform fighting to protect our freedoms are treated the same,' she said.

According to Shaheen's office, unlike most other federal health programs, Department of Defense rules did not have a funding exemption for abortion care in the case of rape or incest. The Shaheen amendment puts Department of Defense rules in line with other federal policies.

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