by Ben Whedon
The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to end a Department of Defense policy to fund interstate travel for servicemembers to obtain an abortion should they be stationed in a state that does not allow the procedure.
In a 221-213 vote, the chamber attached the proposal to the National Defense Authorization Act, setting up a showdown with a Democratic Senate that is certain to object, the New York Times reported.
The proposal is one of several amendments to the annual defense bill that the chamber’s conservative lawmakers have sought to attach to the $886 billion measure. The plan will grant the military a 5.2% pay increase, establish an inspector general to oversee aid to Ukraine, and includes a litany of other measures.
The Pentagon announced its policy in the wake of the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision that ended the constitutional right to an abortion. Many states have since banned or restricted the procedure, including many that are home to military bases.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville met on Thursday to discuss his objections to the policy, though that meeting does not appear to have yielded a policy change.
Tuberville, for his part, has imposed a blanket hold on military promotions and nominations to protest the policy. While he cannot unilaterally block the appointments, he can force the Senate to use valuable floor time for individual hearings by not supporting calls for unanimous consent. The chamber typically approves nominations in groups by that method.
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.