(LifeSiteNews) — Republican presidential candidate and former Trump administration ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley criticized U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) on Tuesday for putting a hold on the confirmation of all nominees to U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) positions until the Biden administration backs down on its insistence on subsidizing abortions in the military.
Last October, following the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing abortion to be directly banned, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directed the DOD to “establish travel and transportation allowances” for “non-covered” abortions for servicemembers and their dependents, as well as pay for administrative leave and any legal penalties against military medical personnel who “appropriately perfor[m] their official duties.” Federal rules are supposed to prohibit taxpayer funding for most abortions.
In response, Tuberville, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced in December that he would “hold up every nomination, civilian and flagship officer until you explain to me or retract this policy.” His office said he was seeking a Pentagon briefing on the matter, and would stand down once “all questions about the policy have been adequately answered.”
“The one thing a senator can do is stop the wheel from turning, and I hate to do it,” the senator said. “But they are not allowed, according to the Constitution, to change this law themselves without running it through Congress.”
Catherine Arnett was harassed, jailed, denied access to Mass, and removed from active service with the Marine Corp because she refused to take an abortion-tainted COVID shot.
We MUST demand that the Marine Corps reinstate her and apologize for this cruel treatment of the 25-year-old.
SIGN: Catherine Arnett deserves justice!
Arnett was a faithful and hardworking American Marine serving overseas in Japan. The unvaccinated Lance Corporal was subjected to torrid pressure however by her superiors in standing up for her Catholic beliefs when the COVID jab mandate was implemented.
She objected to taking the shot because she considered it immoral to force someone to receive an abortion-tainted vaccine. The Marines then tried various ways of coercing Arnett to obey, such as harassment and arrest.
SIGN: We MUST stand with Catherine in her fight for justice!
They took her license in May of 2022 for refusing to separate (a term referring to removal from active service). She was restricted to base for 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks) until she had her community outreach access restricted in January 2023.
She challenged her self-professed Catholic Commanding Officer on his views and religious beliefs as he tried to tell Catherine that her religious beliefs were wrong. Because of this, he had her arrested on January 23, 2023 and jailed for 113 days until May 15, 2023.
His specially crafted punishment for Arnett was to keep her away from the daily Mass that she had always attended. She was only able to receive Holy Communion once in the space of 80 days. After 80 days they moved her to California.
June 23, 2023 was Catherine’s last day in the Marines Corp. At 4 am June 24th, they dropped her off at a random gas station with nothing but the clothes on her back, while her personal belongings are being withheld from her in Japan.
SIGN: Catherine Arnett should never have been removed by the Marine Corps
In response to criticism, Tuberville has stressed that he is not preventing Senate Democrats from holding individual votes for individual nominees, but rather blocking the chamber from holding en masse votes for large groups of appointees at once. He has also noted that, despite Democrat claims, his move is far from unprecedented: “Just a couple of years ago, the junior senator from Illinois, a Democrat, held more than 1,000 military nominations. The reason she held them was over one single officer she wanted promoted. My colleague from Colorado threatened to do the same thing just a few weeks ago.”
During an interview this week, Republican talk radio host Hugh Hewitt asked Haley about the situation.
“Senator Tuberville has a hold on more than 300 general officers, colonels who want to promote to general, captains who want to promote to admiral, and then everyone, one-star to two-star on up,” Hewitt said. “We don’t have a commandant of the Marine Corps. We do not have a chief of staff of the Army for a first time in 200 years. More than 300 vacancies. It’s a mess. And I know that the Pentagon has violated the Hyde Amendment, and I know you’re pro-life. But would you call Senator Tuberville and ask him to stop screwing up the military, because we’re on the brink of a conflict with China, and we cannot have this.”
“This just goes to show how messed up our country is,” Haley said. “I mean, you look at the fact that the Department of Defense shouldn’t be doing this in the first place. But there’s got to be other ways to go about doing this. You know, I mean, in a time where our recruitment is 25% down and you know, 80% of those recruits typically come from military families, and military parents are telling their kids not to go into the military, it’s because they don’t feel like anybody’s got the military’s back. They look at the fact that 33,000 veterans are homeless. They look at the fact that they’re, you know, dangling these promotions out there and using them as fodder. I mean, they’re looking at the fact that people don’t see these, you know, men and women who serve as heroes anymore. And that’s sad, and it’s terrible.
“And you know, I appreciate what Tuberville’s trying to do. I do. Like it’s totally wrong that the Department of Defense is doing this,” Haley continued. “But have we gotten so low that this is how we have to go about stopping it? I mean, at what point can we not go and have, you know, Congressional members go to the Department of Defense and say look, you have to go through Congress if you’re going to do this. You can’t suddenly decide you’re going to do this. Don’t hold, you know, don’t make us have to do this. I just think it shouldn’t get to this point. And you know, for my husband who’s serving overseas, and for all those military men and women, the idea that this is what they’re looking back and seeing, and this is what they are dealing with on top of the stresses of keeping themselves safe and being away from their families, it’s wrong.”
Defenders of Tuberville’s stand argue that the real causes for concern about military readiness and troop morale have nothing to do with a standoff over filling vacancies and everything to do with the policies of the Biden administration, which forced thousands of service members out over COVID-19 vaccine mandates and has consistently prioritized “woke ideology” and social experimentation within the armed forces.
On August 5, the Alabama Republican Executive Committee adopted a resolution affirming that the state party stands with the senator: “[T]he Alabama Republican Party calls on the Biden administration to reverse the policy of using taxpayer money to fund abortion related expenses against the will of the people, and thanks Senator Tommy Tuberville for his stand against this flawed policy.”
In response, abortion allies pursue a variety of tactics to preserve abortion “access,” such as easing distribution of abortion pills, legal protection and financial support of interstate abortion travel, attempting to enshrine “rights” to the practice in state constitutions rather than the U.S. Constitution, constructing new abortion facilities near borders shared by pro-life and pro-abortion states, and making liberal states sanctuaries for those who want to evade or violate the laws of more pro-life neighbors.
Biden has called on Congress to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, which would not only restore but expand the Roe status quo by making it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws.
Meanwhile, Haley averages at 3.4% in national polls for the Republican nomination, according to RealClearPolitics.