Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary explains harm of Sen.Tuberville’s block on military promotions

Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh holds a press briefing in the Pentagon Press Briefing Room, Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, 2023. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

For seven months, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama has blocked the nominations and promotions of senior officers in the military. Since February, he’s argued against what he calls the Pentagon’s abortion policy.

The Republican lawmaker’s stance has garnered criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, as well as from top-ranking members of the military, such as Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Tuberville is being accused of jeopardizing America’s national security by stalling the promotions of hundreds of military personnel. Austin said Tuberville’s hold is not only jeopardizing America’s national security, but it’s also hurting military families.

Meanwhile, Tuberville claims the Pentagon’s policy is illegal, citing that the hold will remain in place until the Pentagon lifts its abortion policy – a policy the Pentagon says they do not have.

“The department does not have an abortion policy, per se. We have a reproductive health policy,” said Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, who joined Monday’s edition of “Closer Look.”

“We are still bound by the Hyde Amendment. So, the department can only provide federally funded abortions in the cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is at risk.”

When asked whether there was a compromise in the works between the Pentagon and Tuberville, Singh said the Department of Defense would not compromise on its policy. However, she is urging Tuberville to lift his hold.

“We believe that our military members, no matter where they are based, should have equal access to reproductive health care or any health care,” said Singh. “It’s about ensuring equity across the entire system.”