There’s a battle going on in Washington, D.C. right now – it’s a battle that has largely flown under the radar, but one with serious ramifications that affect people across the county. As most of us are going about our daily lives, one man is single-handedly defending a long-standing principle on the Senate floor on behalf of taxpaying citizens. I’m talking about Senator Tommy Tuberville’s position that Americans should not be forced to pay for abortions with their tax dollars.
This isn’t a new political issue. In fact, the Hyde Amendment of 1977 prohibits the use of federal funds "to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion." It’s a fairly easy concept to understand, and yet last fall, Joe Biden’s Defense Department still chose to enact a new policy that not only provides paid leave for service members who travel to get an abortion but also reimburses abortion-related expenses for service members and their dependents.
Senator Tuberville has been standing against this shocking policy by placing a hold on President Biden’s military promotions to senior Pentagon posts. While this tactic might seem unorthodox, it is hardly unusual – having been previously used by Democrats such as Senator Tammy Duckworth – and in this case, it has proven to be an effective way to challenge a serious federal grievance.
Ironically some Republicans, as well as Democrats, have not been supportive of his stand in our nation’s capital.
The fact is the subject of abortion has become a touchy issue in American politics. Some say the Republican Party shouldn’t talk about abortion or why we are pro-life, but I say rubbish. We must explain the values we believe in and why they are important. We should stand against an out-of-control federal government using tax dollars to fund abortions, and we should not be quiet about it. After all, the general public understands this principle and agrees with Senator Tuberville on this issue. A Marist poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus earlier this year showed 60% of American adults are opposed to taxpayer funding of abortion.
There’s a good reason why this issue is concerning for many Americans. It’s because the federal government was never designed to pay for things like abortion or to engage in social issues best left to states and individuals. In fact, the point could be made that the federal government was charged with the duty of defending life and individual liberty from the very beginning. Perhaps our founding fathers put it best in the Deceleration of Independence when they explained that our rights come from our creator and that governments are instituted among men to secure the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We as Republicans are not pro-life because we want to limit people’s choices. It’s actually quite the opposite. We are pro-life because we are committed to defending the rights and freedoms of every single person. We want to protect the weak and the vulnerable and be a voice for those who have no voice. It’s why we opposed slavery in the 1800s, it’s why we fought for civil rights in the 1960s, and it’s why we support protecting our children and keeping our communities safe today. We believe that all life is sacred and deserves to be defended. Your life, my life, our children’s lives, and yes, even when it’s inconvenient, the lives of the unborn.
You may not agree with me on this issue, but I hope you agree that history has taught us that we do not want a government that doesn’t respect human life. Look at Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union and China’s one-child policy that forced mothers to have abortions. I think we need to ask ourselves some hard questions on this issue as a society – questions like when does life begin and do we believe that human life is fundamentally sacred? However you may answer these questions, we do know that most Americans agree that the federal government should not be using taxpayer money to fund abortions.
And that brings us back to a U.S. Senator’s lonely stance for these fundamental values: That life is precious and taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for something they don’t believe in. These are core American values that men and women have fought and died for since the beginning of our country. These are issues and values that matter. So I say, Godspeed, Senator Tuberville – may you be successful in your stand, and may more of our elected officials have the courage to fight for the American values that made this nation great.
John Wahl is the Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party and serves as Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee for the Southern Region.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.
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