U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) joined the Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) last week in calling on Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to justify a recent assertion from a top Department of Defense (DoD) official claiming that the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization would significantly affect the “readiness of the Force.”

In a memorandum to the Force dated June 28, 2022, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. claimed the Supreme Court’s ruling that there is no constitutional right to abortion “will have significant implications for … the readiness of the Force,” but provided no evidence to support this conclusion.

The Senators’ letter requests that Secretary Austin describe the “significant implications” on readiness referenced in the memorandum and cite the data used to support Secretary Cisneros’ conclusion. The Senators are seeking additional information about the Pentagon’s ongoing review of current policies and procedures related to abortion described in its June 28th memorandum.

Other signers include Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as well as Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri).

In the letter, the GOP Senators wrote, “We have concerns about assertions made in a memorandum from Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. dated June 28, 2022, and entitled, 'Ensuring Access to Essential Women’s Health Care Services for Service Members, Dependents, Beneficiaries, and Department of Defense Civilian Employees.'

“This memo asserts that the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will have significant implications for our Service members, dependents, other beneficiaries of DoD health care services, and civilian employees, as well as the readiness of the Force.” Tuberville and the other senators continued, "There is no evidence presented in this memo to support the conclusion that the Dobbs decision will have 'significant implications' for the 'readiness of the Force.'"

The letter asks for written responses to the following questions:

1. What are the “significant implications” that the Dobbs decision will have for the “readiness of the Force”? Please be specific.

2. What data was used to support the conclusion that the Dobbs decision would have “significant implications” for the “readiness of the Force?” Please provide a copy of all data used to support this conclusion in your response.

In addition, the June 28 memo states that current policies and procedures are under review in light of the Dobbs ruling and that “additional guidance” will be issued “as appropriate.”

3. What policies and procedures are currently under review by the Department of Defense following the Dobbs decision? Please be specific.

4. Do you commit to consulting with the House and Senate Armed Services Committees before issuing any “additional guidance” referenced in the June 28 memo?

The senators ask that Austin respond by Wednesday.

Tuberville has applauded the Supreme Court ruling finding that there is no right in the U.S. Constitution to terminate the life of a preborn child and that the issue of abortion should be left to the jurisdiction of the states.

“The Supreme Court decision is a victory for life and for Alabamians, like myself, who believe in the protection of the unborn,” said Tuberville. “As a Christian, I believe life begins at conception, and that’s why I signed a ‘friend of the court’ brief in support of this law. This case reignited a discussion on the important role of the American family in our country and the need to protect life at every stage. I hope we don’t let this passion stop here, and we continue to discuss how we can protect the unborn and help vulnerable mothers. After months of a disgraceful public pressure campaign and failed efforts from Democrats to force their extreme and unpopular abortion-on-demand agenda on the American people, I’m glad the Court didn’t bow to outside pressure and maintained their judicial independence.”

Congressional Democrats have seized on the reproductive rights issue as a possible benefit for them politically. The Democratic majority in Congress recently forced passage of federal legislation that would declare abortion a “reproductive right” to override the will of pro-Life Republican state legislatures. The congressional legislation would allow abortionists to kill preborn children thru the ninth month of pregnancy.

The people of Alabama overwhelmingly voted for a state constitutional amendment to outlaw abortion in the 2018 election. Late-term abortions (which were not protected even under Roe v. Wade) have been illegal in Alabama for years.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.

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