NWLC Reacts to Harmful Provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act

Washington, DC – June 14, 2024 – Today, the House passed an annual defense bill containing amendments that harm the rights and health care access of service members and their families.

These amendments prohibit the Secretary of Defense from paying for or reimbursing expenses related to abortion services and ban the Department of Defense from providing transgender service members and transgender dependents of service members access to essential gender affirming surgeries and hormone therapy. Additionally, they eliminate critical diversity, equity, and inclusion programs within the Department of Defense.

Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), issued the following statement:

“With these NDAA amendments, Republicans continue to show us that no one is safe from their attacks on our fundamental rights. Despite lauding the bravery of our military, policymakers continue to push forward these poison pill amendments that target the health, safety, and well-being of our service members. These harmful provisions violate the reproductive rights of service members, deny necessary health care to transgender people, and create a less safe and inclusive environment for those who serve. 

Republican extremists ultimately want to take away the ability for all of us to make personal decisions about our bodies, lives, and futures. We must not let them. We urge Congress to oppose these riders and prioritize the health and rights of service members and their families. We should be protecting their freedoms, not trying to take their rights away.”