DOD Woke Agenda

Pentagon Doubles Down Stance On Abortion Travel Policy As Major Vacancies Mount

Abortion as “health care” — DOD using the Leftist narrative.

The above pin from Planned Parenthood was worn by many Democrats at the 2023 State of the Union address. They said abortion is health care.

By Micaela Burrow, The Daily Caller News Foundation

The Pentagon on Tuesday maintained a hard line on a policy covering travel for abortions as a senator’s protest tactic is soon to result in three military branches without their most senior officers.

Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s one-man blockade on military promotions for generals and admirals has already left the Marine Corps without a confirmed commandant, and the top officers in the Army and Navy will vacate their posts by mid-August, according to

However, the Pentagon on Tuesday indicated no plans to back down and decried criticism of the policy, which allows the Pentagon to fund travel expenses for female troops to obtain abortions out of state.

“Again, service members don’t have the right to choose which state they get deployed to or stationed in. And so this policy is intended to ensure that there’s equitable treatment of all servicemembers,” Pentagon Press Secretary Brig Gen. Pat Ryder said at a press briefing Tuesday.

In late July, about 5,000 current and former military members sent a letter to Senate leadership supporting Tuberville’s hold until the Department of Defense (DOD) lifts the policy of “subsidizing abortion.”

“It’s also our responsibility to ensure that our service members have access to health care, no matter which state you’re stationed in,” Ryder said.

Signatories alleged the policy is illegal because it skirts longstanding legislation, known as the Hyde Amendment, that prohibits federal funding of abortions except in the case of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is at stake.

“That’s patently false,” Ryder said Tuesday in response to the claim. “Again, the DOD does not have an abortion policy.”

“We are not paying for abortions. We are ensuring that our service members have equitable treatment to health care,” he added.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville is set to retire on Aug. 8, and Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of Naval Operations, will follow in mid-August.

The Senate began its summer recess on Thursday and is not scheduled to reconvene until September, so the three services — Army, Navy and Marine Corps — will likely have acting chiefs until a solution is found, according to

Ryder didn’t say whether Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had reached out to Senate Democrats to encourage individual votes on at least some of the most sensitive vacancies, such as those of the joint chiefs of staff.

He also skirted a question regarding the potential for compromise with Tuberville, adding that the Pentagon’s legislative department is on the issue.

“So you know, I don’t want to get into the legislative process other than to say that we have a very clear policy that is in support of our service members,” Ryder said.

Biden administration officials say the blockade hurts readiness and creates uncertainty down the chain of command, making it more difficult to authorize even basic tasks.

“[When] we’ve not been able to have an officer serve in an authorized rank, a lot of times that work has to get passed further up the chain of command, which starts to, over time, create an administrative burden, but also puts friction on the unit because as they’re trying to do their business they can’t get quick permission to do things,” Ryder said. “And so obviously the higher up the chain it goes, the more friction it introduces.”

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