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Peace Corps Equity Act Expands Access to Needed Reproductive Health Care

April 25, 2013

(Washington, D.C.) The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) today applauded the introduction of the Peace Corps Equity Act (PCEA) by Senator Frank Lautenberg (D – N.J.). This important legislation will ensure that women serving in the Peace Corps can receive needed reproductive health care in cases of rape and incest and when the woman’s life is at risk.

The PCEA would fix a long-standing inequity in federal law by allowing women who are Peace Corps volunteers to receive the same health care coverage as other women who get health care services through the federal government. Currently, Peace Corps volunteers are prohibited from receiving the same health care coverage as federal employees in cases of rape and incest or to protect the life of the woman.

The following statement is from NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger:

“Women make up over 60 percent of the more than 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers who devote their time and energy in service to marginalized communities around the world. There is no rational basis for denying Peace Corps volunteers and trainees the same access to safe and legal abortion as federal employees in cases of rape and incest and when the woman’s life is at risk. The Peace Corps Equity Act would correct an inequity that can be dangerous to the very lives and health of the women in the Peace Corps. We urge the Senate to ensure basic fairness and equity in federal health care by supporting Senator Lautenberg’s legislation.”

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