By Alex Christy
Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt is not the first GOP congressman to call out a CNN anchor for going to bat for the Pentagon’s abortion travel policy, but on Monday’s The Source with Kaitlan Collins he became the latest as the eponymous host battled him on which party is injecting politics in the military.
Against the backdrop of the larger discussion around President Biden’s decision to keep Space Command in Colorado, reversing the Trump Administration’s decision to move it to Alabama, Collins asked, “You know, we had previously heard, from U.S. officials, that they had concerns about those policies in Alabama and what it would mean for servicemembers there if Space Command was moved to Huntsville. I mean, do you believe that the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the state’s abortion policy, played a role in this decision?
Naturally, Aderholt replied, “Well, I hope not. Because if it did, then we know it’s clearly politics, because I hope that we’re not deciding where our military bases in this country is going to be located, is based on the political landscape of the particular state… I don’t want us to go down a road of where we’re making military decisions, based on politics. And that’s what this looks like. And that’s why we’re very concerned.”
Collins responded by asking about a fellow Alabamian, “if you don’t think that politics should play a role in military decisions, does that mean you disagree with what Senator Tuberville is doing right now, by holding up military nominations, because he doesn’t like the Pentagon’s abortion policy?”
Aderholt calmly and politely informed Collins that Tuberville was not the one who started it:
Well, you’ve got to remember it never was the policy of the Pentagon that you pay — abortion was always– was never on the table. And so, the Biden administration brought politics into the mix. And that’s why Tuberville has been responding, the way he has. He is pushing back with the Administration and saying, you know, ‘Let’s not play politics with this.’ And so, they were the ones that started it. If he had never put the policy in, where they pay for travel on abortions then this issue would never come up.
Now in full spin mode, Collins argued, “But they’re not paying for abortions. They’re paying for servicemembers to be able to travel.”
Which is exactly what Aderholt said. Nevertheless, Collins continued, “So, they’re not directly paying for abortions. They say they’re doing that because if a servicemember, they don’t get to decide where they’re stationed. If they’re stationed in Alabama, they have no choice but to have to travel, to make that decision.”
Not deterred by the spin, Aderholt replied, “Well, the bottom line is the taxpayer dollars are going toward abortion. And, you know, Kaitlan, you know, there’s a lot of people in this country including myself that just doesn’t feel comfortable that taxpayer dollars are going toward any way, directly or indirectly, toward abortion.”
Additionally, there’s the Hyde Amendment which prohibits federal funding of abortion, so who is that’s really playing politics with the military?
Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters [https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/alex-christy/2023/08/01/collins-goes-bat-pentagon-abortion-policy-interview-gop-rep] and is reposted with permission.