WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Greg Stanton spoke on the House floor ahead of a vote on the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as amended to criticize extreme House Republicans for breaking from a 60-year record of bipartisan compromise to give into anti-choice extremists.

“It’s unconscionable that extremist politicians are willing to jeopardize our military readiness and our national security to push their unpopular, partisan agenda,” Stanton said. “I have voted for the NDAA every year that I have served in Congress, but I cannot in good conscience vote for this legislation in its current form. I will not turn my back on our servicewomen and military families.”

A version of the NDAA was advanced out of the House’s Armed Services Committee with a near unanimous, bipartisan vote. But an amendment adopted along party lines late Thursday would reverse a Department of Defense policy that allows women serving in the military and their dependents to requesting travel allowances and an administrative absence from their normal duty station to travel to seek abortion care. 

Approximately 40 percent of active-duty female service members live in states that ban or heavily restrict abortion, according to analysis by RAND.

Announcing the Department’s policy in October, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote: “The practical effects of [the Dobbs decision] are that significant numbers of Service members and their families may be forced to travel greater distances, take more time off from work, and pay more out of pocket expenses to receive reproductive health care. In my judgment, such effects qualify as unusual, extraordinary, hardship, or emergency circumstances for Service members and their dependents and will interfere with our ability to recruit, retain, and maintain the readiness of a highly qualified force.”

Video of Stanton’s remarks on the floor is available HERE