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Raped US Soldiers

June 16, 2012

The military reported 471 rapes of service members in 2011 alone but the true number is far higher.

The Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office estimates that only about 13.5 percent of all rapes and sexual assaults in the military are actually reported. Why? Because they are re-victimized by the military.

The Women's Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress estimates that several hundred women in the military become pregnant as a result of rape each year.

 

GOP BLOCKS ABORTION FOR RAPED SOLDIERS

Despite numerous reform efforts over the past several decades, including failed proposals in 2010 and 2011, the Pentagon's strict anti-abortion policies endure today.

Republicans are blocking abortion access for raped soldiers.

Shaheen hopes that this year will be different. The Stand with Servicewomen campaign, organized by retired military men and women in partnership with a coalition of civil and reproductive rights groups, is backing her effort. "When a woman comes in the military comes in the military, she's guaranteed health care," says Col. Elizabeth Fleming, a retired Army veteran who now practices law in Alaska, who was in DC recently to lobby senators on Shaheen's amendment. "If this is excluded, she's not getting it."

Another vocal vet is Joellen Oslund, who became the Navy's first woman helicopter pilot in 1974, and in 1993 was one of the first female aviators promoted to the rank of captain. Now retired, she says she hopes that granting access to abortion care for women in the military—at least for victims of rape—will be relatively non-controversial.

"We lost these privileges and these rights a little bit at a time, we're going to have to get them back a little bit at a time," Oslund says. "This is the one piece that's probably the least controversial, and helps the most people."

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