Sen. Tommy Tuberville continued to boldly stand for unborn babies and American taxpayers Tuesday in the U.S. Senate, vowing to keep blocking Pentagon nominees until the Biden administration reverses its new policy forcing taxpayers to pay for military servicemembers to travel for elective abortions.
Thus far, the Alabama Republican has held up the confirmations of approximately 160 Pentagon promotions, and he promised to continue until the pro-abortion policy is gone, the Washington Examiner reports.
Tuberville accused the Biden administration of “illegally” turning the Department of Defense into “an abortion travel agency” in February.
Skirting federal bans on taxpayer funding for elective abortions, the new department policy requires taxpayers to pay travel costs and paid time off for military service members and their families to abort their unborn babies. As a result, approximately 4,1000 more unborn babies could be killed in abortions every year, Republican lawmakers said.
“I hate to have to do this. It’s unfortunate, but we make the laws over here. The DoD doesn’t. This is not about abortion. It’s about taxpayer-funded abortions,” Tuberville said Monday in response to criticism, according to Fox News.
“If this was about a list of personnel, people actually doing the fighting, this might be different,” he continued. “If this had to do with winning a war, obviously I wouldn’t be doing this.”
Because of Tuberville’s objections, the U.S. Senate cannot vote to confirm long lists of nominees at once, as it typically does; instead, lawmakers must vote on each nominee one at a time, which takes longer.
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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin refused to budge on the policy Tuesday, even though polls consistently show strong public opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions. Instead, Austin attacked Tuberville, claiming he is harming military readiness, The Hill reports.
“Not approving the recommendations for promotions actually creates a ripple effect in the force that makes us far less ready than we need to be. The effects are cumulative and it will affect families, it will affect kids going to schools … it’s a powerful effect and it will impact our readiness,” Austin told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
But other pro-life lawmakers defended Tuberville’s actions, including U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, the leading Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“Clearly, on the DoD policy, I absolutely agree with Sen. Tuberville,” Wicker said, according to Punchbowl News. “That said, there are a lot of military positions that need to be filled. And so we’re working with leadership and Sen. Tuberville to see what can be resolved.”
Here’s more from Fox News:
Tuberville reacted to [Democrats] claiming his holding of Biden’s defense nominees was “unprecedented” by pointing to a January report from Defense News in which the latter threatened his own objections to Biden’s nominees over Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s “refusal” to meet with him concerning the administration’s decision to move the U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama. Tuberville also referenced a previous hold by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., of over 1,000 military promotions.
Tuberville said he warned the Biden administration that he would block nominees months ago, but it refused to listen.
“In December, I warned Austin and his department that I would hold nominees from Senate confirmation if the Biden administration tried to force abortion on demand on our military. They did it anyway,” Tuberville wrote in an oped at LifeNews last week. “Despite efforts to pressure me to drop my hold, I will continue to block these nominees until the Department of Defense follows the law—or Congress changes the law.”
U.S. House Republicans recently introduced legislation to reverse the order and permanently block funding for abortion travel in the military.
Right now, pro-life lawmakers at the state and federal level are fighting against the Biden administration’s efforts to expand the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
Recently, 15 state attorneys general warned the Biden administration that they will sue if veterans hospitals start aborting unborn babies in violation of their state pro-life laws. In response to the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, Biden proposed a rule that requires Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals to provide taxpayer-funded abortions “regardless of state restrictions” – a clear violation of the law, the attorneys generals said.
The Biden administration claims the rule only applies to abortions in “limited circumstances”: rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life or health. However, “health” can be broadly defined and statements from department leaders suggest abortions will be allowed more broadly.
All pro-life laws allow abortions when the mother’s life is at risk and, in some states, cases of rape and incest. These make up a very small percent of all abortions in the U.S. Research from the Charlotte Lozier Institute found about 96 percent of abortions are for purely elective reasons.
Polls consistently show strong public opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions. A new Marist poll found 60 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in the U.S. Additionally, 78 percent oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions in other countries.
In February, LifeNews published a list of 25 recent polls that show Americans support legal protections for unborn babies.