Abortion Coverage Sought for Peace Corps Rape Victims

Women’s health organizations are leading a push to institute federal insurance coverage of abortions for Peace Corps volunteers who are sexually assaulted, reports The Washington Post.

Their efforts have received a boost from the White House, which included language in its 2014 budget proposal to allow such coverage for volunteers with the global service organization in cases of rape and incest and when the woman’s health is in danger, and from New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who introduced legislation last week with a similar aim.

Paid Peace Corps staffers, along with all other federal employees, receive abortion coverage in such instances, but it has been barred for volunteers since 1979 under a rider Congress attached to the humanitarian agency’s annual appropriation. Lawmakers have recently stepped up scrutiny of sexual violence in the Peace Corps as more volunteers have spoken out on the issue.

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