SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the Department of Defense released a new memo clarifying access to abortion care for U.S. servicemembers.

"I applaud Secretary Austin for defending access to abortion and reproductive healthcare for servicemembers and their families. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has led to confusion and uncertainty for women across our nation. This announcement will help alleviate the concerns of our servicemembers, giving them greater privacy to make highly personal health decisions and making reproductive services more accessible and affordable.

"Providing guidance, tools, and protections for personal and private reproductive healthcare decisions will only strengthen our nation’s ability to recruit and retain those who work to defend our country. These efforts will help improve our nation’s readiness while protecting the health and well-being of those who serve and their families.

"I look forward to the Department’s implementation of this memo, and I thank President Biden and Secretary Austin for their efforts to support those in uniform and their families."