Washington, DC – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is facing backlash after insinuating that the US military recruitment is dismal due to the alleged funding of “abortion tourism” using tax money. 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 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.
Senator Tuberville’s actions have drawn ire from both Democrats and leaders within his own party, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. 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.
Governor 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 criticized the Department of Defense for allegedly funding “abortion tourism” with tax dollars, stating that there is a limited amount of money in the defense budget and that ammunition is running short.
Unsurprisingly, DeSantis’ comments triggered a barrage of criticism from social media users, with many expressing their disappointment and disagreement with his stance. 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.”
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. This policy allows service members to access non-covered reproductive health care regardless of where they are stationed.
The argument presented by DeSantis and Tuberville hinges on their belief that the military’s policy violates US law and misuses tax dollars by facilitating what they term “abortion tourism.”
In conclusion, Governor Ron DeSantis’ remarks regarding the Department of Defense’s policy of abortion-related expenses have sparked controversy and criticism. His alignment with Senator Tuberville’s position has drawn backlash from social media users and has intensified the ongoing debate surrounding reproductive rights and military priorities. It remains to be seen how this controversy will impact DeSantis’ aspirations for the 2024 presidential election and the broader discourse surrounding abortion rights in the United States.