DeSantis entered the ongoing Senate battle concerning Senator Tommy Tuberville’s holdup of military promotions tied to an abortion-related policy, showcasing his willingness to champion right-wing causes in his quest to win the 2024 presidential election.
Senator Tommy Tuberville holds up military promotions
Senator Tommy Tuberville decided to block officer promotions until the Department of Defense discontinued a policy allowing service members to have their travel expenses reimbursed if they choose to undergo an abortion.
This policy became a target for right-wing criticism following the Supreme Court’s erosion of federal abortion protections in 2022, as per Independent.
Senator Tuberville’s actions have not only drawn ire from the Democrats but also garnered criticism from within his own party, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell among those condemning his stance.
Even some leaders of the US military branches have expressed their disapproval regarding the senator’s move.
However, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis emerged as an ally of Senator Tuberville in this contentious debate.
Known for his inclination toward culture wars and his ambition to unseat Donald Trump as the 2024 GOP frontrunner, DeSantis took the opportunity to voice his support for Tuberville’s position during a speech at the Iowa Faith and Freedom dinner.
Ron DeSantis’ controversial remarks regarding the Department of Defense’s policy of abortion-related expenses
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis questioned the priorities of the military, suggesting that reproductive rights should not be a top concern and that funding abortion-related expenses with tax dollars was tantamount to “violating the law.”
He insisted, “They are breaking … violating the law by funding abortion tourism with tax dollars.” The Florida Republican noted that there is “a limited amount of money in a defense budget” and that ammunition is running short.
“Our recruiting is in the absolute gutter now, and you’re funding abortion tourism. Is that really something that is helping to protect this country? So we need to fight back against it,” claimed DeSantis, adding, “I can tell you when I’m president, on day one, that policy goes into the trash can where it belongs.”
Internet reacts to Ron DeSantis’ comment regarding the military ‘funding abortion tourism’
Unsurprisingly, Ron DeSantis’ comments triggered a barrage of criticism from social media, especially on X (formerly Twitter).
“Leave it to Ron DeSantis to attach himself to a position so unpopular even other @GOP lawmakers are condemning Tommy Tuberville. It’s like DeSantis goes out of his way to find positions that make him broadly unpopular,” said a user.
“This is so ridiculous. You’re not supposed to support the troops under “certain conditions.” Tuberville is hurting our military and Desantis likes his style. Our men and women in uniform are not Tuberville’s pawns to play with. We need to get him to stop the block,” wrote another.
A user expressed, “Just because DeSantis wore a uniform doesn’t mean he understands the military or cares about servicemembers,” with one saying, “At this point, I think he is trying to lose.” someone else offered.
Another remarked, “Please go away and don’t come back ever!”
However, DeSantis’ alignment with Tuberville’s position was not a one-time occurrence.
In a prior interview with Hugh Hewitt, the Florida Governor and presidential hopeful voiced his support for Tuberville’s actions, arguing that the military’s policy contravened US law and misused tax dollars to fund “abortion tourism.”
What is the Department of Defense’s policy regarding non-covered reproductive health care?
The Department of Defense has recently implemented a policy designed to provide service members with the flexibility to make private healthcare decisions while acknowledging the responsibility placed on commanders to meet operational requirements and safeguard the health and safety of those under their care.
“Our Service members and their families do not control where they are stationed, and due to the nature of military service, are frequently required to travel or move to meet operational requirements,” stated the Pentagon in February, as per Florida Politics.
It added, “The efforts taken by the Department today will not only ensure that Service members and their families are afforded time and flexibility to make private health care decisions but will also ensure Service members are able to access non-covered reproductive health care regardless of where they are stationed.”
The argument presented by Ron DeSantis and Tommy Tuberville hinges on their belief that the military’s policy violates US law and misuses tax dollars by facilitating what they term “abortion tourism.”
“What the military’s policy is, is not following U.S. law. They are using tax dollars. They are funding abortion tourism, which is not an appropriate thing for the military to be doing. So, I think our Republicans in Congress should just take a stand on this. The DOD should stand down,” apparently said DeSantis.