Saturday May 28, 201103:09 PM GMT
Military rape victim slams US House
Sat May 28, 2011 3:6PM
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A US military rape victim condemns the House for rejecting a law covering abortion costs of female army personnel who become pregnant after suffering a sexual assault.


Jessica Kenyon -- herself a rape victim and inspired by her own suffering -- began campaigning for awareness to help others who were sexually harassed within the military.

After two years of campaigning, she founded a charity in 2009 for the cause.

"When I went to Korea, I was indecently assaulted by someone in my unit and later raped by someone in another unit," Kenyon told Press TV in an interview.

She was then charged with adultery by her commander, as a doctor at the medical center told the commander, but not her, that she was pregnant. She had not reported the rape as she wished to pursue a career in the army.

The US military health insurance does not cover cases of rape. The refusal of abortion coverage for her case led Kenyon to start campaigning for other women in the same situation.

Kenyon was later discharged from the military on the grounds of suffering from rape trauma and attacks she had witnessed in the US military base in Korea.

Earlier this week, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives refused to allow a bill sent out by six members of Congress wishing to introduce an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to allow the military health system to cover abortion expenses if a servicewoman is raped.

This is while the US House has approved over 150 other amendments to move forward. No public explanation for the decision was given.

“When it comes to health, women in the armed forces should have the same rights and access to services that they would have if they were civilians. This is not about personal views of morality. This is about taking care of our troops and their overall well-being,” Kenyon said.

PM/PKH/AKM
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