GOP Senators Demand Reversal of Biden’s Abortion Policy for the Military
Twenty-seven pro-life Senate Republicans have penned a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, urging the rescinding of a controversial abortion travel policy they deem illegal. This policy, they argue, violates U.S. law by bypassing Congress and utilizing taxpayer dollars for abortions, a practice many Americans oppose on religious and moral grounds.
The senators, led by Sen. Ted Budd of North Carolina, express concerns about the politicization of the military and the potential harm to democratic norms. They assert that legislative power lies with Congress; and the executive branch, including the Department of Defense, should operate within the laws enacted by Congress.
The letter criticizes a memorandum issued by Austin on June 28, 2022, following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the Roe v. Wade decision. Austin’s directive allowed active-duty personnel to receive abortions outside their stationed state, with the military covering travel expenses.
The senators argue that this decision injected the military into a policy debate that should be reserved for Congress. They contend that taxpayer dollars are now funding abortions, contrary to the beliefs of many citizens. Citing a Marist poll, they highlight that 60% of Americans oppose the use of taxpayer funds for abortions.
The Republicans criticize Austin’s rationale for the policy, which he claimed had readiness, recruiting, and retention implications. The senators challenge this assertion, stating that DOD officials admitted having no data to support such claims, and only a few servicemembers or dependents have used the policy.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s holds on military appointees in protest of the policy are also highlighted. The senators argue that while media portrayals may present Tuberville’s actions as extreme, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s refusal to bring nominees to the floor until forced by Republicans is overlooked. They caution against changing Senate rules to block Tuberville’s holds, emphasizing the potential negative effects on future military nominations.
The letter concludes by demanding the immediate rescinding of the abortion travel policy and expressing the senators’ commitment to ensuring accountability and adherence to the principles of democratic governance.
This Republican challenge underscores the ongoing debate over abortion policies within the military and highlights the radicalism of the Biden Administration in pushing taxpayer funding of abortions despite strong public opposition. The Biden administration’s response to these demands will likely fuel further debate over abortion and the Constitutional authorities of Congress and unelected bureaucrats in the Administration.