WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Tensions in the Senate continue to broil as Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama stands his ground on holding up military promotions over Biden’s illegal use of taxpayer money to fund abortions within the armed forces. After a group of fellow Republican senators attempted to pressure Tuberville to buckle, Senator Mike Lee of Utah and other prominent pro-life leaders have defended the Alabama senator’s strong stance.
Last week, Republican senators attempted to force a vote on the promotion of 61 military officers of the more than 370 that Tuberville is blocking. The Alabama senator blocked each one, holding fast to his commitment to block these promotions until Biden reverses his abortion policy for the armed forces. The group attacking Tuberville includes Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Todd Young (R-IN).
Criticizing these Republicans for preferring military promotions over the lives of the unborn, Senator Mike Lee posted a scathing reproach on X, formerly Twitter, saying, “They ride on the coattails of the pro-life Republican brand—until it’s time to do something about it. Then they want little to do with that brand, and even attack those who do.”
They ride on the coattails of the pro-life Republican brand—until it’s time to do something about it.
Then they want little to do with that brand, and even attack those who do. pic.twitter.com/k8H8y4eev1
— Mike Lee (@BasedMikeLee) November 5, 2023
In an article for World magazine titled, “Putting the military ahead of the unborn,” Heritage Foundation Vice President of Government Relations Eric Teetsel also slammed the Republican senators opposing Tuberville for their lack of integrity when it comes to defending the life of the unborn.
“Why would Senate Republicans fight against one of their own, especially on something as fundamental as the fight to defend the unborn?” Teetsel wrote. “Despite their espoused principles and campaign promises, life is simply not the top priority of many elected Republicans—at least, not like it is for their voters.”
“For many years Republican politicians have promised voters they would cut federal funding from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, only to give in when Democrats draw the line. In those cases, these Republicans explain their lackluster resolve by giving the excuse that they must fund the Department of Defense. Now these Senate Republicans are putting the military ahead of the unborn yet again,” Teetsel denounced.
Lamenting the small results achieved in Congress, even with a Republican majority, on the matter of protecting the unborn, Teetsel slammed Republicans who are “undermining” Tuberville’s efforts, who by doing so “advance the Biden administration’s cause of death.”
“The pro-life community doesn’t expect all 49 Republican senators to join Sen. Tuberville in his holds, though credit is due to the handful of senators like Mike Lee and Roger Marshall who have publicly stood with him,” Teetsel said.
However, he declared it is “unacceptable” that “Sen. Tuberville’s fellow Republicans would be the ones to undermine him and advance the Biden administration’s cause of death.”
“That cannot be tolerated. Pro-life people of faith should pay close attention to where their elected officials stand in the days to come,” Teetsel warned.
The Hyde Amendment has for about four decades prohibited the federal government from using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions in most cases. However, the Biden administration has now implemented a memo from the White House by which transportation to procure an abortion is paid for with taxpayer money for all personnel within the armed forces.
The change in policy came in response to the 2022 Dobbs decision of the Supreme Court, which allows states to regulate abortion once more. It was just one of numerous moves by the Biden regime to attempt to expand abortion in any way possible.
In a September interview with the Daily Signal, Tuberville explained the illegality of the memo and his determination to oppose it. “About a year ago, I got a briefing that because Roe v. Wade went down, the Biden administration decided that, ‘Hey, we can’t control what happens in the states, but we can control federal employees, one being the military,’” Tuberville said.
“And so what they did is they sat down, gave us a brief that they were going to change the abortion policy in the military—which we’ve had 35 years, by the way, no complaints. Joe Biden himself even voted for it when he was in the Senate. But they didn’t like it,” he continued.
“After Roe v. Wade, they wanted to change the military policy and they did it with a memo this time. It didn’t go through Congress, which it should. It’s illegal law or illegal policy that they passed down that now you can pretty much get an abortion at any time. Your transportation will be paid for by the taxpayers of this country, which is illegal,” he said.
“I had a very short conversation with Secretary of Defense [Lloyd] Austin and said, ‘If you do this, I’m going to put a hold on your generals and admirals. It’s an unlawful law. The people of Alabama and the other states don’t get an opportunity to vote on this through their senators or congressmen.’”
“So we’re to this point, it’s been going on seven months now. They’re really complaining. We’re up to, as you said, 300 generals and admirals, but it is not affecting anything. Readiness is still there with people that were in those positions are still in those positions,” Tuberville added.
“It’s the only power that you have as a minority senator, and we’re in the minority as Republicans. We can put a hold on anything.”
Tuberville also explained that he can only hold up promotions en masse, which he affirmed he will do unless the abortion policy is changed back. “Now you got to remember this. I am not holding up nominations because they can do them one at a time,” he said. “I’m holding up the opportunity for them to just say, ‘Listen, we want to do 300 at a time.’ That’s not going to happen unless they change this policy back and then send it over to be voted on by the senators.”
In a July interview with Catholic News Agency, Tuberville affirmed that he would not buckle under pressure from the Pentagon. “I hate to have to do this,” he said. “But they’re going to listen.”
“They think I’m going to change my mind. I’m not changing my mind. They’re going to be stuck with a lot of admirals and generals without promotions.”
The country is “not going to legislate from the Pentagon,” the Alabama senator insisted. “And we’re not going to change the laws without a vote. What they do now is they change the policy back and let’s vote on it. They’re going to do it right. We’re going to go by the Constitution.”
On August 5, the Alabama Republican Executive Committee adopted a resolution affirming that the state party stands with the senator: “[T]he Alabama Republican Party calls on the Biden administration to reverse the policy of using taxpayer money to fund abortion related expenses against the will of the people, and thanks Senator Tommy Tuberville for his stand against this flawed policy.”