November 16, 2023

27 US Senators Demand DOD End Abortion Travel Funding

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
On Nov 13, 27 US Senators signed a letter demanding that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin end the Department of Defense's policy to pay the travel expenses for military members and their dependents who travel away from pro-life states to get abortions.

The Department of Defense announced the taxpayer funding of abortion travel expenses not long after the Dobbs v. Jackson decision allowed states to regulate abortion through their elected representatives. Austin argued in support of the policy that pro-life state laws created “readiness, recruiting, and retention implications for the force.”

This came after President Biden directed the entirety of the executive branch to find ways to promote abortion.

The senators' letter reads,

"All legislative power is vested in Congress, and the Executive branch is responsible for implementing and enforcing the law. While the Department may issue regulations, it can only do so under the laws authorized and enacted by Congress. But, Congress never authorized the Department to expend funds to facilitate abortions and, until the Policy was issued, the military never facilitated abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother would be endangered if the unborn child were carried to term..."

The letter further notes that only 12 women have used the policy since its inception at the beginning of this year, undercutting his argument that pro-life laws posed a threat to recruiting and retention.

Of the 27 Senators who signed the letter, all were Republicans.