The bottom line is service members must get permission from their commanding officer before taking time off to go get an abortion in another state. Otherwise, they risk criminal punishment.
Katherine Kuzminski, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said leave requests can lead to uncomfortable situations. If someone needs to take leave quickly to get an abortion, they may need to disclose they are pregnant to their superior officer to explain the reasoning for the leave.
“The decision rests with the unit level commander,” she said. “There could be challenges there as well depending on the needs of the military and the needs of the unit. It could also bring into question the individual commanders flexibility for such a decision.”
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