‘Disgusting’: Republicans fume over Pentagon plan to pay for troops’ abortion travel ban ‘You do not speak to the Congress of the United States,’ Trump tweets in response to Ryan’s bill’
Washington (CNN) — The military’s top brass and some lawmakers are furious with the White House over the Pentagon’s plan to pay for troops’ abortions overseas.
President Donald Trump railed this week against Ryan and other House Republicans for supporting the Pentagon’s plan, saying it should not be “allowed to pass.”
“The only reason (for the ban) is that your military is a disgrace to our country,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “This is the craziest thing I have ever seen.”
Ryan defended the policy Friday during a joint press conference with Vice President Mike Pence.
“There are certain things we can pay for, and other things we can’t,” Ryan said. “In the case of overseas travel or overseas military deployments, we are able to pay for those in the short term.”
Despite Trump’s comments, the Pentagon’s civilian leadership was not planning to oppose the policy at this point, Ryan said. “I don’t think anyone’s planning to vote the legislation down,” Ryan said.
Ryan’s proposal in the Senate would go into effect, requiring any military base where abortions are permitted to pay for their costs. The Pentagon also would have to provide “support services” for the troops to allow them to travel to the overseas abortion clinic, according to Ryan.
“The Department of Defense has not changed its position on the policy of paying for abortions,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White told a White House briefing Friday. “We remain committed to the same policy of using the resources we have available to the best advantage of national security.”
At the press conference with Pence, Ryan said Obama did not pay for abortions in Afghanistan and Libya, even though the Pentagon had been asking for that since 2012. He said the practice should be ended regardless of why Obama did not pay for abortions.
“How is it a reason the U.S. government is not going to take the money?” Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pennsylvania, a doctor and an opponent of Ryan’s policy,