Kirby: Military Has ‘Foundational Sacred Obligation’ to Provide Troops with Abortion Access

kirby military has foundational sacred obligation to provide troops with abortion access
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White House spokesman John Kirby on Tuesday argued it is a “foundational sacred obligation” for military leaders to provide troops and their family members with access to abortion.

During a White House briefing on Tuesday, a reporter asked Kirby if the Biden administration’s policy of paying for troops and their family members to travel out of state for abortion is “critical” for military readiness.

kirby military has foundational sacred obligation to provide troops with abortion access

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, left, listens as National Security Council spokesman John Kirby speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, July 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Kirby responded that since the U.S. military comprised of volunteers, it was a “foundational, sacred obligation” to provide them and their family members with paid travel and time off to get abortions if they were based in states where it is restricted.

“When you sign up and you make that contract you have every right to expect that the organization — in this case the military — is going to take care of you and they’re going to take care of your families,” he said, adding:

And they’re going to make sure that you can serve with dignity and respect no matter who you are, who you love, or how you worship — or don’t. And our policies, whether they’re diversity, inclusion, and equity, or whether they’re about transgender individuals who qualify physically and mentally deserve to be able to do it with dignity, or whether it’s about female servicemembers — one in five — or female family members being able to count on the kinds of health care and reproductive care specifically that they need to serve — that is a foundational sacred obligation of military leaders across the river.

Kirby argued, “It’s just the right darn thing to do for people that raise their hand and agreed to serve in the military.”

Kirby also argued that not allowing troops and their family members access to abortion would hurt recruiting and retention. He claimed that female troops and spouses told him at a recent White House event that anti-abortion laws passed in some states after the overturning of Roe v. Wade were having an effect on their willingness to continue serving.

“If you don’t think there’s going to be a retention and morale issue, think again, because it’s already having that effect,” he claimed.

“So it has — it can have an extremely, extremely significant impact on our recruiting and our retention,” he argued.

Kirby singled out Alabama, which is represented by Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), who staunchly opposes the Pentagon’s policy.

“What happens if you get assigned to a state like Alabama, which has a pretty restrictive abortion law in place, and you’re concerned about your reproductive care, what do you do? Do you say no and get out? Well, some people may decide to do that. And what does that mean? That means we lose talent, important talent, and we’re all again, an all-volunteer force,” Kirby said.

Tuberville has infuriated the White House by placing a hold on the Senate’s ability to confirm military nominees in a blanket fashion in an effort to get the Pentagon to reconsider the policy, which allows troops to take three weeks off and pays for travel and transportation for them and their family members to seek out-of-state abortions if they are based in states where it is prohibited.

kirby military has foundational sacred obligation to provide troops with abortion access

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III smiles as he speaks during the 20th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s annual defense and security forum in Singapore, Saturday, June 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Tuberville argues that the Pentagon’s policy violates the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the federal government from covering the cost of abortions except in the case of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is at risk.

Biden called Tuberville’s position “ridiculous” and dismissed negotiating with Tuberville.

Tuberville, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, said, “He can call me all the names he wants. Does that sound like anybody that wants to get anything done?”

“That’s what this place is about,” he added. “It’s about working with each other, talking it out, getting in situations where you can maybe compromise to a point. I mean, here’s a guy that doesn’t even want to talk.”

WATCH: Austin: I’m Not Negotiating over Paying for Travel for Abortions

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Authored by Kristina Wong via Breitbart July 17th 2023