Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

After Dobbs Decision, Department of Defense Provides Q&A Resource

Image of Images of female service members. The Military Health System provides comprehensive women’s health care, including reproductive health care and gender-specific care associated with cardiovascular health, mental health, and musculoskeletal injuries. Our goal is to ensure the health of all women at every stage of life. (Photo: Courtesy Fort Drum Public Affairs)

(Editor’s Note: The following article was originally published on August 12, 2022, on the official website of the Department of Defense. It is repurposed here, with minor edits, to benefit our readers. The Military Health System offers comprehensive health care services, including contraception and reproductive health care, either through a military hospital or clinic or through the TRICARE Health Plan network. Health.mil maintains a resource page that provides information and links to an array of women's health preventive and treatment services. Additional resources are noted below.).

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision protecting abortion rights, service members and families were left uncertain about their access to reproductive health care.

Recognizing that the defense community continues to have questions about available services, the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness published a Q&A that includes answers to questions around reproductive health care access — including leave and travel, sexual assault, contraceptives and other types of related assistance.

DOD shared the Q&A on TRICARE, the health care program for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families around the world; and Health.mil, the Military Health System website. Both sites offer additional information and resources for women's health care within the DOD community.

The Q&A represents part of the department's efforts to take care of service members, DOD civilians and their families, and to ensure military readiness.

"Nothing is more important to me or to this department than the health and well-being of our service members, the civilian workforce and DOD families," said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III in a message to the force after the Dobbs decision.

"I am committed to taking care of our people and ensuring the readiness and resilience of our force. The department is examining this decision closely and evaluating our policies to ensure we continue to provide seamless access to reproductive health care as permitted by federal law."

Resources

For more information on the variety of health services available to female service members and families, the Military Health System offers a comprehensive array of resources, fact sheets, apps, and other online information: 

  • The Army Women’s Health Portal is designed to provide service members, leaders, and family members health-related information tailored to meet the unique needs of our female service members. 
  • The Navy and Marine Corps Women’s Health and Readiness site provides female warfighters information on health, fitness, and wellbeing to optimize mission readiness.
  • The Health.mil Women's Health site provides female service members, operational leaders, and providers with the resources to learn how to increase female force readiness, resiliency, and deployment readiness. 
  • Released early in 2022, the Deployment Readiness Education for Service women app gives service women a one-stop resource for some of the most common questions and concerns before, during, and after deployment.
  • The Decide + Be Ready app provides an interactive way for service members to learn about birth control options and help think through what is important to them about the method they choose. 

Related Publication: Memorandum: Ensuring Access to Essential Women's Health Care Services for Service Members, Dependents, Beneficiaries, and Department of Defense Civilian Employees

You also may be interested in...

Infographic
Nov 29, 2023

Cervical Health Awareness Month

Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, but you can lower your risk through regular screenings and vaccinations. Get info on @TRICARE coverage and get screened today: www.tricare.mil/CoveredServices/IsItCovered/CancerFemaleReproductiveOrgans #CervicalHealthAwarenessMonth #WomensHealth

Video
Nov 20, 2023

Schedule Your Annual Well-Woman Exam Today

Schedule Your Annual Well-Woman Exam Today

CAPT Kelly Elmore, MD, OB/GYN and Chief of Staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center encourages you to schedule your annual well-woman exam. Cervical Cancer screening is your covered TRICARE benefit. Depending on your age, a pap smear and/or HPV test are recommended to screen for cervical cancer. Make sure you take time today for your ...

Video
Nov 20, 2023

A Regular Pap Smear Helps Detect Cervical Cancer

A Regular Pap Smear Helps Detect Cervical Cancer

CAPT Kelly Elmore, MD, OB/GYN and Chief of Staff at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center explains the purpose of pap smears. Cervical Cancer screening is your covered TRICARE benefit. Depending on your age, a pap smear and/or HPV test are recommended to screen for cervical cancer. Make sure you take time today for your health and schedule ...

Article Around MHS
Nov 20, 2023

The Madness We Survive

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Matilyn Million, 6th Medical Support Squadron laboratory technician, stands next to her coworkers during a chemotherapy appointment in Tampa, Florida, on Aug. 21, 2023. Million was diagnosed with stage III Hodgkin’s lymphoma in March 2023. She completed her 12th and final chemotherapy treatment on Sept. 18, 2023, and is currently cancer free. (Courtesy Photo)

A renewed spirit to resume the life she previously had consumed U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Matilyn Million as she closed her most difficult chapter. On Sept. 18, 2023, Million underwent her 12th and final chemotherapy treatment in Tampa, Florida.

Article Around MHS
Nov 1, 2023

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Champions Women's Health Care Options Using Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy Surgery

Dr. Candice Jones-Cox, the Women's Health Services director at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is all smiles after becoming the first surgeon in the Department of Defense medical community to perform a robotic minimally invasive endoscopic surgery. (Photo by Ricardo Reyes/Department of Defense)

When you meet Dr. Candice Jones-Cox, director of the Women's Health Services at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, you will learn that she's a fierce patient advocate and a meticulous surgeon, passionately learning cutting-edge techniques to adapt to an ever-changing medical landscape. She's an obstetrician-gynecologist, highly adept at ...

Article Around MHS
Oct 19, 2023

Lights, Camera, Ultrasound! Uniformed Services University Nursing Students Train Using High-Tech Simulation Theater

The Uniformed Services University students from the family and women’s health nurse practitioner program attended the university’s Wide-Area Virtual Environment at the Simulation Center for the first time in Oct. 2023. (Photo by Tom Balfour, USU)

Military students from the Uniformed Services University conducted immersive medical team training in the university's Wide-Area Virtual Environment. The theater is a a state-of-the-art 3D immersive reality facility that simulates various scenarios, replicating environments from war zones to medical emergencies, to prepare them for real-world medical ...

Video
Oct 18, 2023

The Importance of Mammograms

The Importance of Mammograms

Capt. Monica Lutgendorf, M.D. explains why it's important to get a mammogram, especially for individuals between the ages of 40 and 74. Breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among women. It's important to take time for your health and get your mammogram every other year if you are at normal risk. Contact your local hospital or clinic ...

Video
Oct 18, 2023

Schedule your Mammogram Screening Today

Schedule your Mammogram Screening Today

Capt. Monica Lutgendorf, M.D. explains the importance to get regular mammogram screenings. It's important to get screening for mammograms every other year for someone with normal risk factors. If you have higher risk factors, your screening recommendations may change. Please talk to your medical provider. You can schedule your mammogram at your local ...

Article Around MHS
Sep 11, 2023

A Profile in Courage: Former Marine Shares Her Breast Cancer Survivor Story

Stephanie Bowens, a former Marine, cancer survivor, and nursing administrator, contemplates her day at Walter Reed Military Medical Center, preparing for an upcoming breast reconstruction surgery. (Photo: Ricardo Reyes-Guevara, Walter Reed Military Medical Center)

Former Marine Stephanie Bowens stands quietly in the nerve center of Walter Reed Military Medical Center’s nurse administration office, gathering her thoughts before coordinating schedules, arranging meetings, and fostering camaraderie among her talented teammates. It’s the perfect position for a creative, energetic, and organized leader who ...

Article
Aug 23, 2023

TRICARE Laboratory Developed Tests Demonstration Extended, Certain Tests Now Covered

TRICARE Laboratory Developed Tests Demonstration Extended, Certain Tests Now Covered

The Defense Health Agency announced the five-year extension of the Laboratory Developed Tests Demonstration. The DHA extended the demonstration from July 19, 2023 through July 18, 2028. The DHA also announced that TRICARE will now cover several preconception and prenatal carrier screenings as part of the basic TRICARE benefit.

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery