CNA Staff, Nov 15, 2023 / 13:45 pm
A group of nearly 30 U.S. senators this week called on the Biden administration to rescind the Department of Defense’s controversial policy that authorizes the payment of travel expenses for service members and their families seeking abortions.
In October of last year, several months after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that repealed Roe v. Wade and returned the power of abortion regulation to state legislatures, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin directed the department to “establish travel and transportation allowances” so that service members and their dependents can access abortion in states that offer it.
“I am committed to the department taking all appropriate action, within its authority and consistent with applicable federal law, as soon as possible to ensure that our service members and their families can access reproductive health care and our health care providers can operate effectively,” Austin’s memo said.
That policy has generated controversy since its issuance. Most prominently, Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville has for months been holding up unanimous-consent military promotions on the Senate floor in protest of the policy. Tuberville has argued that the Pentagon chose to institute the policy outside of congressional approval and that it should go through normal legislative channels.