The military’s ban on abortions forces female soldiers to make terrible decisions,
and a look at their experiences "could be timely and politicizing": In the wake of the Stupek amendment, their lack of care "could be shared by all American women," writes Kathryn Joyce at Religion Dispatches. Thanks to the federal funding ban, military hospitals can’t perform abortions; female soldiers who need one have to ask for leave, jeopardizing their careers. Joyce talked to one Marine who, faced with that Hobson’s choice, self-aborted using some herbs, her rifle cleaning rod, and a laundry pin.
She tried twice, each time hemorrhaging profusely. After the second, she went to a military hospital, where she miscarried alone in the shower. She was punished for having sex in a war zone, and a military psychiatrist OKed her request to go home, saying she was too “psychologically unstable” for duty. “They convinced themselves that anyone who would do a self-abortion is crazy,” says the Marine. But “it’s something that rational, thinking women do when they have no options.”