APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVES SHAHEEN PROVISION PROTECTING PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS
Provision in State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) appropriations bill would extend basic health care services to Peace Corps VolunteersJune 19, 2014
(Washington, DC) – The Senate Appropriations Committee today cleared a provision backed by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to bring health care equity for reproductive health services to female Peace Corps volunteers. The State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) appropriations bill would correct an inequity in Peace Corps reproductive health care coverage that prevents the Peace Corps from providing abortion coverage for volunteers in the case of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is endangered. Last month, Shaheen re-introduced similar language as standalone legislation, the Peace Corps Equity Act.
“Peace Corps volunteers provide an invaluable diplomatic service to our country,” Shaheen said. “It’s not right that they are denied a basic health care benefit that is extended to other women with federal health care plans. Peace Corps volunteers should never have to face the tragedy of a sexual assault, but if they do, they should be able to access comprehensive health care and support services.”
While employees of the Peace Corps are provided with abortion services in the case of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is endangered, this coverage is not extended to volunteers. More than 60 percent of the over 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers are women and the health care they receive is inconsistent with most other federal health programs.
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