Video of the Floor Speech is Available HERE
Washington, D.C. — Today on the Senate floor, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet highlighted the effect of state abortion bans on our military readiness and national security, and urged the Department of Defense (DoD) to consider access to reproductive care in major basing and personnel decisions, including the decision of where to permanently base U.S. Space Command.
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade has had and will have serious consequences for our military readiness and national security. Currently, the Pentagon does not consider access to reproductive care when making basing and personnel decisions.
On the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade on our military and military readiness:
“When our men and women in uniform volunteer to serve, they don't get to decide where they're going to serve. The Pentagon decides that. Before Dobbs was decided, our troops had at least some assurance that wherever the Pentagon sent them, they would have minimal access to reproductive care as a protected Constitutional right. They knew that for 50 years no matter where they served. That is no longer true. The Supreme Court stripped that right away, again, without even bothering to consider what it would mean for our troops based in states with no access to reproductive care.”
On Colorado’s robust military presence and strong history on reproductive rights:
“We in Colorado are honored to host a strong military presence in our state from the U.S. Air Force Academy, to Fort Carson, to Schriever Space Force Base, to Peterson, to Buckley, and Space Command. And we're honored to protect reproductive care for the men and women who protect us.”
On urging the Pentagon to consider access to reproductive care in its basing and personnel decisions:
“In the wake of Dobbs, we literally have no policy to account for the harm of moving a base from a state that protects access to reproductive care, like Colorado, to a state that does not, like Alabama.”
“I can't agree that the Pentagon should care about how much it costs to house a family when it makes basing decisions, but not whether the family has the freedom to plan its future. The Supreme Court may not have had – because of its ideology – the courage to grapple with the consequences of the ruling on our men and women in uniform and on our national security, but that doesn't give us the ability or the Department of Defense reason to shirk its responsibility.”
“We have to stand on the side of expanding rights and expanding opportunity for Americans, not restricting them. So today I'm calling on the Pentagon to codify the policies it announced last month, and develop a new framework that accounts for access to reproductive care in its basing and its personnel decisions. And I call upon my colleague from Alabama to lift his holds so the Senate can advance these national security personnel. Because if our men and women in uniform can spend every day defending our freedom, surely, Mr. President, we can defend theirs.”Bennet’s full speech is available HERE.