Tuberville Backpedals in Pro-Life Fight, Yields on Most Military Promotions

In a reversal in the Senate on Tuesday, Sen. Tommy Tuberville  backed off his long-running pro-life fight.  

Tuberville, R-Ala., had been blocking hundreds of military promotions as a lever to challenge a Pentagon policy promoting abortion. On Tuesday, the Alabama lawmaker said he would free up most of the promotions to proceed after blocking them for 10 months.  

“I’m not going to hold the promotions of these people any longer,” Tuberville told reporters. “We fought hard. We did the right thing for the unborn and for our military, fighting back against executive overreach and an abortion policy.

Specifically, Tuberville said, he would no longer block promotions to the ranks of three-star general or below, an alternative he said was suggested to him by Republican Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Joni Ernst of Iowa.  

Defense Department spokesman Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters Tuesday that Tuberville’s continued hold would affect about 11 officers who are up for promotion to the level of four-star general, NPR reported.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer , D-N.Y., thanked Ernst and Sullivan on the Senate floor “for their courage in helping break the logjam.”

The Defense Department allows taxpayer-funded travel for service members or their spouses to obtain abortions. Tuberville had previously said that until that policy was changed, he would not approve any military promotions, arguing that the policy is illegal and violates the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment is a measure dating back to the 1970s that prohibits federal taxpayer funding of abortion. 

Tuberville had come under criticism from some GOP senators, who called on the Alabama lawmaker to give up his effort and allow the promotions to move forward despite the Pentagon’s unchanged pro-abortion policy.  

Schumer had threatened to hold a vote in the Senate to change the rules in the upper chamber to allow the military promotions to move forward despite Tuberville’s actions to block them. There were reportedly concerns that such a change in the rules, even temporarily, would set a dangerous precedent.

“The only opportunity you got to get people on the left up here to listen to you in the minority is to put a hold on something, and that’s what we did,” USA Today reported Tuberville as saying. “I think we opened our eyes a little bit. We didn’t get the win that we wanted. We’ve still got a bad policy.”

Tuberville says the House now has the opportunity to use the annual defense spending bill to rescind the Pentagon’s pro-abortion policy.

Before Tuberville’s announcement on Tuesday, Ryan Williams, president and publisher of The Claremont Review of Books and of The American Mind; Terry Schilling, president of American Principles Project; and Kevin Roberts , president of The Heritage Foundation, published a joint op-ed praising Tuberville for his commitment to stand against the Pentagon’s pro-abortion policy. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of Heritage.)

Tuberville’s hold “on military promotions over the Pentagon’s unjust decision to fund abortion tourism is a righteous manifestation of the Senate’s responsibility to scrutinize military leadership,” the conservative leaders wrote .

“Analysis from the Center for Renewing America indicates more than 40% of the officers whose promotions the senator has held up have publicly supported ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ policies, and dozens of them have egregiously politicized their service through social media comments, speeches, or policy decisions,” they wrote.  

Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America, responded to the news on X, formerly known as Twitter, writing, “We’re proud of the stand that Sen. Tuberville took on behalf of the preborn. Every day he stood firm was a message sent to Washington that the lives of America’s preborn are worth defending, even if Joe Biden and his Pentagon don’t think so.” 

After Tuberville’s announcement, the Senate voted to confirm more than 400 pending military promotions.

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Why Do-It-Yourself Abortion Pills Are So Dangerous

The Biden administration continues removing safety measures for the distribution of do-it-yourself abortion pills , turning local pharmacies into abortion clinics . Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is being sued for approving these dangerous drugs in the first place.

After the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization struck down Roe v. Wade, many states have passed protective pro-life laws. But unless state and federal policymakers take action, mail-order abortion pills will continue freely flowing across state lines. These drugs undermine pro-life progress and kill unborn children and hurt women and girls in the process.

Much is said about chemical abortion pill health risks. And for years, we’ve watched the Obama and Biden administrations slowly chip away at the safety measures that provided modest—but important—limits on where and how to get these dangerous drugs. For two decades, doctors at least had to see women in-person to rule out life-threatening complications like ectopic pregnancy or accurately date a pregnancy by doing an ultrasound to ensure that the pills were not used past a certain gestational age. But now, the Food and Drug Administration has put a stamp of approval on telemedicine abortions and sending abortion pills through the mail .

There’s another aspect of abortion pill policy that isn’t talked about as much, but it deserves our attention and decisive action. Fewer safety protocols mean more chances for women and girls to be abused, coerced, given abortion pills without their knowledge, or forced to take pills against their will.

Think this is a hypothetical problem? Think again. Sadly, there are far too many of these things happening to women and girls all over the country. It happens in pro-life states and in pro-abortion states. And these are only the cases we know about. In these cases, the perpetrator was caught. But what about those perpetrators who aren’t?

Men have laced women’s drinks with pills. Crushed them up and put them in food. Held a woman at gunpoint and forced her to take pills. Men have also taken minors that they’ve gotten pregnant to Planned Parenthood and posed as parents to get pills. And they’ve swapped abortion pills with other medications.

Telemedicine abortion and pills-by-mail will enable even more coercion and abuse. Think about it: When a woman sees a provider in person, she has a chance to speak freely, one-on-one. Any woman who’s gone to the doctor’s office has seen the fliers in the bathroom, waiting area, and exam rooms advertising phone numbers and confidential resources for women experiencing domestic violence and abuse.

When a woman talks to a doctor about getting abortion pills via video chat, that doctor has no idea who’s in the room with her just out of the camera’s sight. Or worse, online pharmacy websites will ship abortion pills anywhere in the country after someone fills out a questionnaire. The pharmacist doesn’t even know if that person is the pregnant woman she claims to be. It could be anyone.

Surely, even those who support legalized abortion should agree that no one should be coerced or forced to have an abortion against her will. So why are the Biden administration and its pals in the abortion industry working overtime to remove any and all safety measures for abortion pills? Because with Roe v. Wade rightly overturned , they know that abortion pills are their best bet at undermining pro-life progress.

We need to fight back. We should protect women, girls, and unborn children—not empower abusers.

What can state and federal policymakers do?

Prohibiting telemedicine and mail-order abortions should be at the top of our to-do list. Many states already have such bans, and Congress can do this nationwide either through standalone legislation or the appropriations process.

States should also strengthen informed consent requirements. They should be crystal clear that any woman having an abortion knows that she cannot be coerced or forced to have an abortion against her will.

States can strengthen or enact laws that specifically prohibit abortion coercion, they can strengthen or enact parental consent laws for minors, and they can ensure that laws regarding forced abortion seek justice for both victims—unborn children and their mothers.

Congress should prohibit any federal dollars from being spent on research for new abortion drugs or over-the-counter availability. And Congress should prohibit the FDA from ever approving—or even reviewing an application for—an over-the-counter abortion pill.

As long as abortion pills are on the market, women, girls, and unborn children will suffer. The abortion lobby is clear that it wants all safety measures abolished and for these drugs to be available over-the-counter .

It’s troubling enough to imagine a woman or girl walking into a local pharmacy and buying abortion pills as easily as she can buy antacids or cough syrup. But in a world of over-the-counter abortion drugs, an unsupportive husband, boyfriend, trafficker, or abuser could do the same.

We should not sit back and let the abortion industry push our culture further on its slow march toward death. It’s not too late to act. But policymakers need to act fast.

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