National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) - Repealing DADT and Military Abortion Ban
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UPDATE: On December 15, 2010, the House of Representatives voted 250 to 175 to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The ACLU welcomed the House vote and strongly urged the Senate to pass the repeal legislation, ensuring it reaches the president's desk by year's end.
Congress has once again failed to repeal the discriminatory "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" law. This is a loss for the thousands of lesbian and gay service members who patriotically serve our country but risk being kicked out simply because of who they are. It's also a loss for the vast majority of Americans who want our government to respect the values of fairness and equality promised in our Constitution.
The ACLU opposed any effort to strip language repealing either the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy or the ban on privately-funded abortions on military bases from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Such an action would remove two important civil liberties advancements from this legislation and runs counter to the Obama administration's goal of repealing both DADT and the ban on the use of private funds to access abortion care at US military hospitals and medical facilities around the world. The language in the Senate Armed Services Committee-approved version of the NDAA offered important and overdue protections for servicewomen and military dependents, as well as providing those service members who are lesbian, gay or bisexual the opportunity to serve their country with honesty and integrity.
At a time when service members willingly put their lives at risk to preserve our rights and freedom, it is deeply troubling that lesbian, gay and bisexual service members are forced to hide and deny their very selves and that servicewomen are denied access to safe, legal abortion care when they serve abroad. These policies are unjust, unfair and should be repealed. Congress now has the historic opportunity to overturn both policies. We therefore urge you oppose any effort to strip language repealing either "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" or the ban on privately-funded abortions on military bases from the NDAA.
Repeal Ban on Privately-Funded Abortions at Military Facilities (Section 713)