President Joe Biden’s administration will no longer move the U.S. Space Command to Huntsville, Alabama, despite the government’s own analysis showing the move made sense.
The Associated Press first reported the news, citing unnamed government officials as sources.
So what’s up? Well, it’s likely retaliation against Alabama for its pro-life policies. For months, Democrats have been making the case that military bases shouldn’t be in pro-life states.
The Associated Press reports that the unnamed U.S. officials “said the abortion issue had no effect at all on Biden’s decision.”
But that’s hard to swallow when you look at the timeline.
The Biden administration initially delayed the decision—which had been made by President Donald Trump—to move U.S. Space Command to Huntsville, Alabama. The administration ordered instead new reviews of the move.
“In both cases, the Defense Department’s inspector general and the Government Accountability Office affirmed the process that resulted in Huntsville’s selection using objective criteria for basing decisions,” reported my colleague Rob Bluey.
In ye old days of 2021, before the Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women Health Organization decision overturned Roe v. Wade, a Biden official showed support for the Huntsville move.
“[Defense] Secretary [Lloyd] Austin has communicated to Air Force leaders that he supports their decision-making process about the preferred location of Space Command headquarters,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement Feb. 22.
But then Roe v. Wade was overturned—and Alabama’s law banning abortion went into effect. In contrast, abortion is not only legal in Colorado, but a “2022 executive order and a 2023 law shield those seeking or providing abortions in Colorado from laws in other states,” reports The New York Times.
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., explicitly argued in March in a speech on the Senate floor that military bases shouldn’t be in pro-life states.
“In the wake of Dobbs, we literally have no policy to account for the harm of moving a base from a state that protects access to reproductive care, like Colorado, to a state that does not, like Alabama,” said Bennet.
That same month, Bennet, and Colorado’s other senator, Democrat John Hickenlooper, signed a letter with other Democrat senators that noted “13 states have a total ban on abortion and other states are moving to severely limit access to abortion service.”
“The Department of Defense should also consider the availability and accessibility of health care, including abortion and reproductive care, when making basing decisions,” the senators wrote.
Furthermore, NBC News reported in May that “[s]ome defense and congressional officials believe the White House is laying the groundwork to halt plans to move U.S. Space Command’s headquarters to Alabama in part because of concerns about the state’s restrictive abortion law, according to two U.S. officials and one U.S. defense official familiar with the discussions.”
The Biden administration decision also comes as Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville is fighting the Defense Department’s new abortion policies, which provide travel expenses and up to three weeks off for service members who have abortions. Tuberville has refused to allow unanimous consent for military promotions in recent months, arguing that the Defense Department policy should be voted on. “I will keep my hold until the Pentagon follows the law [or] Congress changes the law,” Tuberville said in June on the Senate floor.
If senators truly thought military readiness was at risk, the Senate could still vote on military promotions, despite Tuberville’s objections, by doing a more time-consuming up or down vote. However, while senators have found time to moan about Tuberville’s principled concerns about the Defense Department’s rogue pro-abortion action, they can’t be bothered to find the time to vote on what they claim are critical military promotions.
The usual narrative is that conservatives are the culture war aggressors. But this latest move from the Biden administration shows that the pro-abortion side is willing to go to extreme measures to ensure that it’s legal to take the life of an unborn child.