New Legal Memo Prepared For Vet Voice Foundation By Kaplan Heckler And Fink LLP That Makes Legal Case For VA To Go Further Officially Submitted To Department Today
New legal analysis submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on behalf of Vet Voice Foundation supports the recent rule by the VA but makes the legal argument that the department can and should go further and provide all abortion care to pregnant veterans and CHAMPVA beneficiaries.
The memo, prepared by Kaplan Heckler & Fink LLP attorneys Susanne Sachsman Grooms and Carmen Iguina González for the Vet Voice Foundation, will be submitted today to the VA.
The topline findings of the memo are:
- Vet Voice Foundation calls on the Secretary to make one important change to the final rule: to authorize all abortion care to pregnant veterans and CHAMPVA beneficiaries. The medical evidence is clear that pregnancy can present significant risks to the life and health of the pregnant individual, serious health complications can emerge suddenly and in individuals with no preexisting risks or conditions, and delaying abortion care increases the risk of complications. Given this evidence, the Secretary can and should conclude that access to all abortion care is medically needed and include such care in the final rule.
- Vet Voice Foundation also call on the Secretary to act to the full extent of his legal authority by (1) ensuring that VA facilities across the country provide CHAMPVA beneficiaries access to abortion care through the In-House Treatment Program; and (2) issuing guidance to VA facilities across the country to ensure that individuals who are not veterans or CHAMPVA beneficiaries—including civilians and active-duty service members—can nevertheless access emergency abortion care in appropriate circumstances.
You can see the full legal analysis here: https://vvfnd.org/vet-voice-comment-10-10-22/
“We appreciate and support the steps the Biden Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs are taking to work to ensure veterans have access to the full range of health care services they need – including abortion access. But, as this memo makes clear, the department can and should go further,” said Janessa Goldbeck, Marine veteran and CEO of the Vet Voice Foundation. “Now is not a time for half measures. We need the department to go all in and do more to ensure veterans have access to abortion services. Because as veterans we didn’t serve and protect this nation around the world just to have our rights stripped away here at home. We hope the department will review this memo and adopt its recommendations.”