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Navy Lays Out New Policy For 21-Day Administrative Leave for Abortion and Reproductive Care

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Sailors and Marines who need to go out of state for an abortion will have 21 days to travel and undergo the procedure, according to new Navy guidance published this week.

The Department of the Navy published two memos, signed by Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, and one NAVADMIN on Feb. 28 detailing the procedure for reporting pregnancy and how to request time off for non-covered reproductive health care.

While abortion falls under non-covered reproductive health care, it also applies to medical care like in vitro fertilization (IVF). Getting an abortion when the mother’s life is at risk or the pregnancy is the result of rape is covered by the federal government.

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Navy Unveils New Leave Policy for Abortions, IVF Treatments

The Navy is authorizing up to 21 days of administrative leave for sailors seeking abortions and other reproductive health care that Department of Defense health care providers typically don’t — or cannot — provide.

While DoD health care providers cover abortions in the cases of rape or incest, Tricare providers do not cover abortions in other cases due to the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding from going toward some abortions.

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