By Sen. Tommy Tuberville
Federal law permits the U.S. military to only provide abortions in very narrow circumstances: rape, incest, and threat to the life of the mother. Yet, the Biden administration has turned our Department of Defense into an abortion travel agency.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin did it using a memo—without congressional approval.
Under a policy announced Feb. 16, the Biden administration is allowing abortion on demand for not just those enlisted in our military, but their family members as well. This would expand the policy to millions of people. American taxpayers are on the hook to cover non-chargeable paid time off, and travel costs for abortions for our military and their families.
This goes beyond the law.
The U.S. Constitution is clear: Congress makes the laws, the executive branch enforces the laws. Austin seems to think he can make or change the law without going through Congress.
It would be irresponsible for the U.S. Senate to allow an administration walk all over the legislative branch. Austin cannot change the law by memo. Congress cannot be replaced by a post on the Department of Defense website.
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. They knew what the consequences would be. This was their choice.
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.
If these nominees are so important to the Democrats, then the Democratic Leader can find time to get them on the Senate floor. Frankly, I wish Democrats were this concerned about our enlisted servicemembers.
We have a military recruiting crisis in this country. The Army missed its recruiting goal by 15,000 last year. That’s an entire division.
The policies of Biden administration are one factor causing this crisis. At an Armed Services Committee hearing this week, I talked about the Navy’s training materials. Many of these materials denigrate religious Americans—who are the majority in this country.
Why are Democrats more worried about confirming the Biden administration’s nominations than about our recruitment crisis?
The facts have not changed with the Department of Defense’s abortion policy. And, therefore, my position has not changed. I will continue to hold the nominations unless Austin rescinds or suspends his policy facilitating taxpayer-funded abortions for the military and their family members.
Editor’s note. Senator Tuberville wrote this for the Daily Signal.