Leaders of the U.S. House Democrat Women’s Caucus, including Lois Frankel (D-FL), Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM), and Nikema Williams (D-GA), voiced their strong opposition to provisions that they claim would hinder access to military abortions.
The Democrat outrage comes in response to a Republican amended funding bill aimed at rescinding a Pentagon policy that reimburses travel for servicemembers facing difficulties accessing reproductive health care in their stationed states. The policy was crucial to avoiding a government shutdown last month.
In a joint statement, the Democrat leaders emphasized that reproductive health care is essential and should not be restricted in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference process.
Alabama U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican, has been a central figure in opposing military leadership appointments, which reportedly involve nearly 250 appointments.
Tuberville’s actions are linked to concerns about pushing abortions and the use of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives within the military.
The senator has expressed his intention to continue blocking the military leadership appointments.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has defended the abortion policy, claiming that it safeguards the healthcare and combat readiness of service members. He also stated that the policy enjoys widespread popularity within the military.