The abortion provision, sponsored by Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, appears to be a red line for most Democrats. During a press call with reporters on Friday, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., and Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. – both veterans and members of the Armed Services Committee – criticized the amendment.
“We must clearly focus our efforts on prioritizing military readiness and national security and supporting our troops and our families and the quality of life they deserve,” Houlahan said. “But what we’re doing is exactly the opposite of that, because we’re telling 51 percent of our population – obviously women – that we don’t respect them and that we don’t respect their bodily autonomy.”
Houlahan offered a motion to recommit Friday morning to return the bill to committee. Motion denied, 210-217.
Meanwhile, ultraconservative members of the House Republican caucus called the bill a major victory, criticizing what they called efforts by the Biden administration to impose a liberal agenda on the military.
“We’re here to tell you today that this is a big win,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa., told reporters Friday morning. “A week ago, this bill, to many of us, seemed impossible – and therefore it has improved greatly.”