The Department of Defense will cover travel expenses for military personnel and their dependents who may be forced to cross state lines for reproductive health needs

The Supreme Court ruling that deprived women of constitutional protection for abortion, regardless of the state they reside in, created "unusual, extraordinary, and difficult circumstances" for many service members, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote in a memorandum published on Thursday. He instructed the Department of Defense to "establish travel and transportation allowances for service members and their dependents, as circumstances warrant and consistent with applicable federal law and operational requirements, and to amend any applicable travel regulations, as necessary, to facilitate official travel for access to uncovered reproductive health care that is not available at the service member's permanent duty station."

According to Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder, Pentagon spokesman, the Department of Defense aims to "reduce the burden and cost" for service members stationed in states where such reproductive procedures are no longer legal.

The Pentagon's policy on reproductive health remains a relevant issue.

"We wanted to get feedback from service members to solve their problems," Ryder told reporters.

"We will continue to work on policies that will help us create a unified policy on service member confidentiality and ensure that they have the information they need to make informed decisions."

Vice President for Family Planning Karen Stone welcomed the Pentagon's statement, saying her organization was "inspired by the Department of Defense's continued efforts."

"Everyone deserves access to abortions, including our service members," Stone said in a statement. "It is very important that the federal government ensures they have access to the medical care they need without difficulty or delay."

However, Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, accused the Biden administration of using taxpayer funds for "abortion tourism" and playing to the "single issue" of the Democratic Party.

"Instead of helping women and their future children by promoting life-affirming solutions, the Biden administration is advocating for abortion on demand at any time and for any reason," Tobias said.