Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Biden administration: Abortion restrictions weaken military!

By Robert G. Marshall ( bio - articles - email ) | May 24, 2023

President Biden’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin claims (10/20/22) that failure to adequately fund expanded “reproductive health care,” (i.e. abortion or child homicide before birth) “will interfere with our ability to recruit, retain and maintain the readiness of a highly qualified force.” Secretary Austin wants abortions funded beyond current law which is limited to circumstances of life of the mother, rape, and incest.

Imagine General Dwight Eisenhower, head of all Allied forces against Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Fascist Italy, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee during World War II, that American troops will not invade Normandy (D-Day), Northern Africa (Operation Torch), retaliate for Pearl Harbor (Midway), or Fascist Italy (Sicily) unless troops and dependents have unfettered access to abortion!

On December 9, 2022, Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville (AL) notified Secretary Austin he would block all unanimous consent requests in the Senate to approve multiple military officers’ nominations (by a single block vote) unless Secretary Austin’s death memo for preborn children is withdrawn. On March 8, 2023, Sen. Tuberville kept his promise and started blocking all of the Pentagon’s unanimous consent requests to approve military officer nominations.

Sen. Tuberville has pledged to pull his hold on the nominations as soon as Secretary Austin rescinds his illegal effort to expand abortion funding for military beneficiaries. Sen. Tuberville pointed out that had Senate Democrat Majority Leader Schumer not recessed the Senate for 30 days there would have been enough time for all of the 234 military nominations to have been considered and approved by individual votes.

I have read parts or all of the military books used at West Point (which Secretary Austin attended) including: On War (von Clauwitz), The Art of War (Machiavelli), The Influence of Sea Power Upon History (Alfred Mahan), The Art of War (Sun Tzu) and The History of the Peloponnesian War (Thucydides). I could not find any claim in these books that abortion enhances military readiness or competence.

Of course, it is possible the Biden Administration is taking its cue from totalitarian governments: “One of the first legislative actions after the Russian Revolution resulted in the widespread performance of abortion” (The Lancet, 12/21/2019).

Seven former Democrat and Republican Secretaries of Defense wrote (5/4/22) to Congress basically claiming that failure to pay for abortions beyond those now allowed by law “is harming military readiness and damaging U.S national security…and…sends the wrong message to our adversaries and could weaken our deterrence.”

These former Secretaries of Defense have suggested that Senators who want to restrict abortions should introduce legislation, conduct oversight hearings, or amend the National Defense Authorization Act. However, as Senator Tuberville pointed out, the Department of Defense is already prohibited by 10 U.S.C. 1093 to fund any abortions other than those resulting, “from rape, incest, or pregnancies that threaten the life of the mother. These rules apply to both service members and their dependents.”

Tuberville added that, “The burden is on the administration to stop breaking the law.” Under current law, the DOD funded 91 abortions between 2016 and 2021, but that would jump to 4,100 annually under Secretary Austin’s illegal proposal. Democrat Senators took an Oath to defend the Constitution which stipulates that the Congress shall write the laws, not Secretaries of Defense.

Secretary Austin might respond that he is only following President Biden’s policies. America has never before had such a zealous, pro-abortion president as the current “Catholic” occupant of the White House. Joe Biden may say he is only following what his Planned Parenthood supporters want, but Joe Biden would be wise to follow what a much higher Authority than Planned Parenthood has stated regarding such matters: “He who sins against me does violence to his own soul; All those who hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36).

The Department of Defense hopes to circumvent state laws where abortion is restricted. However, the federal Assimilative Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 13 ensures “state law applicable to conduct occurring on lands reserved or acquired by the Federal government as provided in 18 U.S.C. § 7(3), when the act or omission is not made punishable by an enactment of Congress.” In other words, in the absence of any federal law to the contrary, any federal military base or hospital situated in a state which restricts abortion would have that same law apply to the military doctor who was aborting women on the military base.

Secretary Austin claims that abortion is health care. He is mistaken. Seventy one years ago in 1952, Dr. William Heffernan and Dr, William Lynch reported that, “the best obstetrical experience justifies the opinion voiced by the senior author at the recent Congress of the American College of Surgeons that, ‘Anyone who performs a therapeutic abortion is either ignorant of modern medical methods of treating the complications of pregnancy or is unwilling to take the time to use them’” (The Linacre Quarterly, Vol. 19 : No. 1, Article 5).

Additionally, the words “conscience” and “religious objection” appear nowhere in Secretary Austin’s memo. Secretary Austin’s abortion “rule” does not protect the conscience rights of military personnel or DOD civilian staff who could be forced to participate in abortions or be fired. Under these circumstances could a military court or administrative entity decide that refusal of military or other personnel to facilitate the procuring of direct abortion per Secretary Austin would be a violation of a lawful military order?

In the early 1960s, American state law treated abortion as a type of homicide. Twenty-three states had express provisions in their criminal codes similar to Virginia’s law stating that if anyone administers or provides to “a woman any drug or other thing…with intent to destroy her unborn child, or to produce abortion or miscarriage and thereby destroy such child, he shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than one nor more than ten years” (VA Code Ann. Sect. 18.1-62, 63)

Also, in the early 1960s before Roe, 19 additional states specifically classified abortion either as manslaughter or second degree murder, or punished abortionists with equivalent penalties. At that time, legislators did not claim that abortion was “health care” or anything other than the killing of a human being, a living child. Secretary Austin’s widely used phrase, “reproductive health care,” is a convenient euphemism for child homicide before birth, and it does not morally sanitize abortion. Women in crisis pregnancies need prayer, assistance and compassion, not abortion.

Before 1868, federal and some state laws allowed certain humans to be designated and treated as “property.” But using the term “property” to describe persons did not change the fact that that all persons are made in God’s Image. Persons are not things, should never be treated as such, and cannot be turned into “things” by a simple turn of a phrase by any President or Secretary of Defense mouthing the words “reproductive health care”

Further, there is no reference in Secretary Austin’s memo that the DOD office of Legal Counsel agrees with Austin’s claim that he can unilaterally rewrite federal law. Senate Democrats are fine with giving away their constitutional powers including the writing of law, if it means expanding abortion. Does the Pentagon’s Judge Advocate General’s Office agree that Secretary Austin’s rule can override current federal law?

President Biden shows his obsession with and his irrational promotion of preborn child sacrifice by now attempting to block the move of the headquarters of the new Spaceforce from Colorado to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, because according to NBC News (5/20/23), the Alabama legislature passed very tight restrictions on abortion. This is an unseemly and malicious form of abortion extortion which threatens the loss of many good paying jobs at Huntsville Spaceforce headquarters!

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., noted that the Air Force chose Huntsville for all the right reasons. “This was affirmed by the GAO and the DOD Inspector General. …[T]hey took into account several factors including quality of life, available infrastructure, and workforce capabilities. Huntsville, Alabama, finished first in both.” Biden’s own “Office of Management and Budget ordered a review of the process for selecting Alabama. Inspectors general for both the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the Defense Department completed the review in 2022 and found that the process to select Redstone Arsenal was legitimate.”

While abortion-promoting President Joe Biden, is making ridiculous and immoral public policy decisions, Senator Tuberville and the legislature of Alabama are attempting to protect innocent life. We can ask our US senators to reject President Biden’s and Secretary Austin’s immoral and coercive policies to expand abortion in the military. We should also thank Senator Tuberville for his brave efforts and encourage him to remain steadfast.

Who are My Senators?

Sen. Tommy Tuberville

Bob Marshall served 26 years in the Virginia House of Delegates and was the chief House sponsor of the 2006 voter-approved Virginia Marriage Amendment and a ban on late term abortion. He recently wrote Reclaiming the Republic: How Christians and Other Conservatives Can Win Back America (TAN Books). Previously, he co-authored Blessed are the Barren, a social history of Planned Parenthood (Ignatius Press). Finally, don’t miss Bob’s Civics Lesson for Catholics in the Catholic Culture Podcast Episode 17. See the full bio.

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  • Posted by: stephenaix7045 - May. 27, 2023 2:17 PM ET USA

    Outstanding analysis by Bob Marshall which shows how shallow Biden administration is for life and for children!