Over 5,000 veterans signed a letter voicing support for U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville's (R-Auburn) hold on military promotions to combat a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) policy that financially facilitates abortions.
Tuberville has been in a contentious battle with the DOD since early this year.
After the U.S. Supreme Court brought the abortion issue back to the states by overturning Roe v. Wade last summer, the Pentagon decided to aid female soldiers in obtaining abortions by offering them up to three weeks of leave and transportation allowances to travel to states where abortion is legal.
Tuberville, a Senate Armed Services Committee member, threatened to impede President Joe Biden's DOD nominations if the policy were implemented without congressional approval. His decision slows Biden's efforts to fill DOD positions without a formal Senate vote.
"The undersigned stand united in condemning this policy," wrote the veterans about the DOD policy. "This policy is not just illegal, it shamefully politicizes the military, circumvents the authority of Congress, and exceeds the authority of the Department of Defense."
Though several conservatives have backed Tuberville and his hold, he has faced criticism from Democrats and neoconservatives, some suggesting that the hold negatively impacts national security.
Tuberville clarified earlier this year that his hold did not stop all nominees from being confirmed but prevented the Senate from confirming them in large swaths instead of individually.
"While some claim that Sen. Tuberville's position is negatively impacting military readiness, the Department of Defense has failed to present any evidence that substantiates this claim," wrote the veterans. "To the contrary, it appears true that the politicized agenda of Secretary Austin and the Biden administration are significantly diminishing military readiness. The American people, including its servicemembers, are disappointed by President Biden and Secretary Austin's recent decisions to mandate receipt of the COVID-19 vaccines, promote the radical LGBT agenda, and now subsidize abortion. Because of these policies, the military now faces an unprecedented crisis of recruitment – missing its recruitment goal for the first time ever last year. The focus of our military must be on keeping the American people safe, not advancing the left-wing social agenda."
Among the veterans who signed the letter were four members of Congress: U.S. Reps. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), Elijah Crane (R-Ariz.), Andrew S. Clyde (R-Ga.) and Ronny L. Jackson (R-Texas).
Other notable signatories included executive vice president of the Family Research Council William G. Boykin and Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty president Craig G. Muehler.
The veterans addressed the letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
"There is no truth more profound than the fact that all human life is sacred," the veterans concluded. "The mission of the United States Military is to defend and protect all American lives – not subsidize the practice of destroying innocent and vulnerable American children via abortion with taxpayer dollars. By pledging to hold these nominations to the Department of Defense until administration officials reverse course, Senator Tuberville is doing a great service for the American people – including its service members."
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