Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Statement of Support
Currently, there are no exceptions for life endangerment, rape or incest in the ban on abortion coverage for Peace Corps Volunteers.
The following statement of support will be used in advocacy efforts in support of adding these exceptions.
This statement signed by you and other Returned Peace Corps Volunteers may be attached to letters to members of Congress, press materials, action alerts, and other public documents,and may be posted on organizational websites and social media. [Note: Although this letter is for PCVs and RPCVs to sign, we encourage everyone to contact their Senators to co-sponsor S. 813, the Peace Corps Equity Act. No action is needed on the House side at this time.]
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STATEMENT OF SUPPORT:
As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, I strongly believe that Americans serving abroad in the Peace Corps should have coverage for the same vital reproductive health care as their federal employee counterparts. We write in strong support of fixing this longstanding inequity by providing abortion coverage to Peace Corps Volunteers in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
Women make up more than 60 percent of the more than 8,000 Peace Corps Volunteers who devote their time and energy in service to people around the world, working on a range of issues including education, health, youth and community development, agriculture, and the environment.
Despite their hard work in service to others, Peace Corps Volunteers are denied the same basic abortion coverage that federal workers receive when a pregnancy results from rape or incest, or would endanger the life of the woman. This is not fair.
Unfortunately, women both at home and abroad still face the risk for sexual assault which can result in pregnancy. Moreover, some women face medical complications that can make a pregnancy life-threatening. In these cases, Peace Corps Volunteers deserve the same basic protections extended to other women who serve our country, whether in the military or in the federal government.
My fellow Volunteers and I have dedicated years of our lives to serving our country and the countries with which we partner to foster peace and development. We strongly support the crucial mission of the Peace Corps and the service it provides. But right now, women in the Peace Corps stand alone among citizens serving our nation overseas who are denied this medical coverage.
We have the power to change this. The Peace Corps itself, as well as a group of bipartisan lawmakers, support Peace Corps Volunteers having the same coverage as federal workers. Please stand with us and support this important issue and make the change that is necessary to fix this inequity.