Tuberville’s Military Holds Over Pentagon’s Illegal Abortion Policy Becomes Issue for 2024

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is continuing his hold on military nominations and promotions over the Pentagon’s illegal abortion policy, especially with the Department of Defense (DoD) not giving him much, if any, hope that they are willing to do what’s necessary to resolve the matter. Under the current policy, service members and their dependents receive paid time off for abortions and travel expenses if they are seeking abortions out-of-state. As Tuberville’s office has pointed out, the policy is in violation of 10 U.S.C. 1093, which dictates that abortion can only be funded in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother. While President Joe Biden has come out forcefully against Tuberville, at least one major 2024 presidential candidate is supporting the senator. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) spoke with Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, during which he was quite clear with his answer of “no, I don’t,” when asked “do you think Senator Tuberville should remove those holds.” As DeSantis explained, “the military’s policy is not following U.S. law,” since “they are using tax dollars, they are funding abortion tourism, which is not an appropriate thing for the military to be doing.”

DeSantis also called on fellow Republicans to stand up in support of Tuberville. “I think our Republicans in the Congress should just take a stand on this, the DoD should stand down,” as he also mentioned that “we have all these other problems in our military, you know, we need more ammunition, we need more recruiting, we need all these other things, and yet they’re focusing on abortion tourism.”

Tuberville indeed does have support, with Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Mike Lee (R-UT) being particularly vocal in their support. They’re not the only ones, though. 

The senator has also spoken to support that he has, armed with receipts. Townhall has also spoken to several Republican members about that support, from both the House and the Senate, with a Senate staffer having reiterated that it is there. 

As Spencer highlighted on Tuesday, Tuberville has the support from over 5,000 veterans, as communicated in a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). 

During his campaign, DeSantis has long listed it as a priority to rid the military of its wokeness problem. Earlier this week he was just recently in South Carolina, where he not only applied to have his name on the ballot, but he also released his military plan as well. 

That DeSantis is pro-life and has often warned about the dangers of a woke military are not the only reasons why his support for Tuberville is welcoming but not surprising. 

During his CNN interview with Jake Tapper, DeSantis mentioned that “we’re going to reverse the abortion tourism policy in the Department of Defense.” Not only are taxpayer dollars being spent for abortions, DeSantis reminded, but the leave policy is particularly relaxed too. “They won’t even pay you, you lose a loved one, you don’t get that type of time off to be able to go to do funerals, and so we’re going to continue to stand for, to stand for life, and we’re going to make sure that everybody knows that,” he shared. 

Not only has Biden weighed in to condemn Tuberville, but members all across his administration are calling out the senator on a regular basis. Now that DeSantis has gotten more involved, the DNC is also taking notice, in the form of a press release that included a statement. Included was an article from POLITICO, “DeSantis backs Tuberville on military holds, denounces Pentagon abortion policy.”

In addition to concerns about violating 10 U.S.C. 1093, the Hyde Amendment is still in place, regardless of how the Biden administration has been so hellbent on getting rid of it. Polling shows that 60 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer dollars going towards elective abortions, which Hyde is supposed to protect. 

As Katie covered on Thursday, Townhall has learned that taxpayer funds can be used for service women to obtain abortions with at any point in their pregnancy. “Biden DoD confirmed at a SASC (Senate Armed Services Committee) briefing today that female service members or their dependents can use taxpayer dollars to travel to a state at any time during the pregnancy (including up until the moment of birth) for an abortion,” a Senate aide said. 

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