CV NEWS FEED // Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-AL, stated that he is holding firm in his mission to end the Department of Defense’s (DoD) pro-abortion policy.
“I hate to have to do this,” Tuberville said Wednesday in an interview with the Catholic News Agency (CNA). “But they’re going to listen,” he added, referring to the Pentagon.
Tuberville is one of the only currently-serving elected officials confronting the ongoing proliferation of abortion in the military.
As CatholicVote reported last month:
In February, the Defense Department published a new policy that offers paid leave and travel reimbursement to service members in pro-life states who want to travel to pro-abortion states in order to abort their unborn children. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pushed for the new policy after receiving a request from President Joe Biden. The new policy went into effect on March 18.
In response, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-AL, began blocking confirmations to senior Pentagon posts. Tuberville is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
He and other Republicans called out the new policy for violating the 1977 Hyde amendment, which has prohibited taxpayer funding for most abortions for nearly five decades. A recent survey found that 60% of Americans believe the government should not use taxpayer money to fund abortions.
In the past few months, Tuberville has blocked hundreds of military appointments. On July 10, the senator’s holds resulted in the U.S. Marine Corps being without a top leader or Commandant for the first time since 1859.
Tuberville’s colleagues from both parties have sharply criticized his bold actions.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, said that he was not acting “in the best interest of the national security of the country.” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, a self-professed Catholic and pro-abortion Republican, went even further, likening the holds to “taking hostages.”
However, despite the opposition, Tuberville vowed to move forward with his strategy until the Pentagon reverses its policy. They think I’m going to change my mind. I’m not changing my mind,” he told CNA. “They’re going to be stuck with a lot of admirals and generals without promotions.”
He explained that he had warned the DoD before resorting to blocking its appointments:
I sent a letter to [Defense] Secretary [Lloyd] Austin and said, “If you do this I’m going to put a hold on all your admirals and generals.”
We never heard from him. A few months later they started the new policy. And now six months later here we are.”
I don’t think they understood I would make this hold permanent.
The senator also rebutted his critics, who claim his holds jeopardize “military readiness.” He pointed out that positions left vacant, such as the Marine Commandant, are being filled on an interim basis. “If I thought this would affect readiness, I wouldn’t be doing this,” he said. “Readiness is not a problem.”
In his May interview with the LOOPcast, Tuberville said he had “looked at the polling,” which shows that 60% of Americans are “strongly opposed to taxpayer dollars being used to pay for abortions,” which is the case under the DoD policy he is challenging.
Prior to being elected to the Senate in 2020, Tuberville was a college football coach for four decades. Most notably, he served ten seasons as Auburn University’s head coach. In 2004, he was named the AP Coach of the Year, leading the Auburn Tigers to an undefeated record on the way to an SEC Championship win.
He finished his coaching career at the University of Cincinnati leading the Bearcats to a 2014 American Athletic Conference Championship victory.
CatholicVote this week called on its followers to write to their senators and urge them to stand with Tuberville against the use of taxpayer dollars to push abortion in the military.
Through CatholicVote’s portal, readers can write to their elected officials quickly, using a pre-drafted message, or they can craft their own message.