Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) remains evidently committed to his block of military nominations and promotions, in connection to which the effective execution of hundreds of posts across the nation’s system of national defense has been threatened.
Tuberville has been objecting to the Senate’s confirmation of these personnel picks out of outrage over the Defense Department’s offering of travel support and other backing for individuals in the service seeking an abortion. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the national legal protections for abortion in Roe v. Wade, many individual states led by Republicans have pursued individual bans on accessing the procedure, creating the necessity for many of travel.
Tuberville has characterized the military as now funding abortion, which is not strictly accurate, as the Defense Department is not covering the actual procedure, per available details. The support the Defense Department does offer is not necessarily immutably connected to actually obtaining an abortion, though it’s obviously associated.
“The current policy is extreme and unprecedented,” Tuberville claimed. “We had an abortion policy for nearly 40 years, supported by Republican and Democratic administrations alike. Now the Biden Administration is forcing taxpayers to fund elective abortion.”
VoteVets, a progressive advocacy organization representing veterans’ interests that has repeatedly clamored against Tuberville during this controversy including with a video ad promoted in Alabama, responded to the southern Republican. “FACT: The US Military DOES NOT pay for abortion,” the organization posted online. “Tuberville is deliberately misleading Americans, and using our Troops as pawns in his extremist games.”
He has faced some opposition — sometimes — from inside the GOP, but there is no procedural mechanism available for those technically serving above Tuberville in the Senate GOP conference to force his compliance. Though many of the roles whose longer-term occupancy has been threatened by Tuberville can be occupied in what’s known as an acting capacity, Biden administration spokesperson John Kirby has said these acting officials do not necessarily have the legal powers in place to fully safeguard military readiness as a Senate-confirmed official could. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), a veteran, has also criticized Tuberville, discussing the impacts on military families from the upending of these personnel movements.
FACT: The US Military DOES NOT pay for abortion. Tuberville is deliberately misleading Americans, and using our Troops as pawns in his extremist games. https://t.co/k9vWOoZWmY
— VoteVets (@votevets) July 19, 2023