Saturday, (6/14/14) issue of The New York Times carried a short editorial entitled, “Peace Corps Volunteers Deserve Fairness.” The lead sentence read: “Women make up more than 60 percent of the Peace Corps, volunteers who are often put in situations where safe and reliable medical care is difficult to find and where they face the risk of sexual assault.”
The editorial was drawing attention to the fact that this week’s subcommittees in both the House and Senate will begin to work on a Peace Corps budget for the next fiscal year and how the current federal law (written in 1979) does not allow abortion coverage in the volunteers’ health care program, even in cases of rape or incest, or when a pregnancy endangers a woman’s life.
The Times writes: “All women should be allowed comprehensive reproductive health care coverage. Women taking risks to advance the country’s interests by serving in the Peace Corps should not be treated worse than other federal employees when it comes to insurance coverage…..It is time for Congress to end this injustice.
It is also a good time for RPCVs to call their local Congressional Representative, wake him or her up (as most of them, we know, have been sleeping for the last few years) and tell them what you want done for the women of the Peace Corps.