Thune supports hold on military promotions
U.S. Sen. John Thune said he supports the efforts of an Alabama senator to hold up military promotions over a Defense Department reproductive health policy.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, opposes a Pentagon policy that allows troops and their dependents to take time off and use official travel for reproductive care not available locally. That can include abortions, IVF and pregnancy aids.
Thune said the policy violates the Hyde Amendment, and that federal taxpayers should not be paying for abortions.
“There’s been broad public support in this country for not having the taxpayers finance abortions. Whatever people think on the issue—and I know there’s some wide ranging, it’s a decisive issue in the country—I’ve always been very pro-life," Thune said. "I think one of the consensus positions is that taxpayers shouldn’t finance them. The military has entered that arena. I think that was a mistake.”
The policy does not fund abortion procedures.
Tuberville’s protest is leading to a backlog of hundreds of military promotions. The Department of Defense said it’s negatively affecting military readiness.
Ellsworth Air Force Base is not directly affected by any hold on military promotions. However, the Air Force Chief of Staff and Joint Chiefs chairman confirmations are being held up.
South Dakota’s near total abortion ban went into effect last year when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to the procedure.