U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) has filed a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and their rule to allow abortion access to servicemembers.

In October 2022, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin sent a memo decrying the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court decision of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The memo directed Department of Defense (DoD) officials to "ensure that service members and their families can access reproductive health care and to support Department of Defense health care providers concerned about potential risks while providing federally authorized care."

The VA released its rule in September 2022 and said it would begin offering abortions to servicemembers and certain dependents, regardless of the individual state's law.

According to Tuberville, the DoD's suggested policies are illegal in that they would permit federal funding of abortions not currently approved by federal law. 

Federal law only allows military-provided abortions in cases of rape, incest and risks to the mother's life. Additional funding could well run afoul of the Hyde Amendment of 2013, which prohibits any federal money from being used to fund abortions.

The resolution is sponsored in the House by U.S. Rep.  Michael Cloud (R-Texas). The CRA gives Congress the authority to review significant rules issued by federal agencies before they take effect. If Congress disapproves of the DoD's rule via resolution, it will have no force or effect under the law.

"Using our VA medical facilities to provide publicly-funded abortions is an unconstitutional abuse of the system, and it will not be tolerated," Tuberville said. "No taxpayer should be forced to pay for abortion services that disregard the will of millions of Americans in states with legal protections for life, rightfully upheld by the Supreme Court last year. The interim final rule highlights this administration's willingness to ignore the law and exploit limited federal resources to serve their extreme abortion agenda."

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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