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U.S Officials say Abortion Rights at center of Space Command HQ move stalling

The Biden Administration has put a hold on the move of Space Command headquarters from Colorado to Alabama, and some U.S. officials are pointing to political influences as being at the center of the halt.  

The relationship between the right-leaning state and a progressive white house has been dicey as of late, with the most recent point of contention being Alabama’s hard stance on abortion.  In particular, the White House ordered the air force to conduct a review of the move from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Alabama, in the months following Alabama’s controversial vote to ban nearly all abortions, including abortions tied to cases of rape or incest.  

Furthermore, GOP Senator Tommy Tuberville has stalled Biden’s 200+ military nominations because of his frustration with the Pentagon’s abortion policy, which provides paid time off and travel expenses for military personnel and dependents seeking an abortion.  Tuberville has used procedural tactics to slow the process to a crawl, despite condemnation within his own party and from military higher-ups, including Senator Mitch McConnell, who condemned the move.  A Pentagon spokesperson warned that the move could hinder the military’s ability to ensure readiness and operational success.  

Tuberville has claimed he hasn’t spoken much to the defense department, but he will not back down on this contentious front until the Pentagon’s abortion policy is rectified, as noted in an address to the Senate on Wednesday.  

“If Secretary Austin is so worried he can’t live without these nominees, he can suspend his memo.  That’s all he has to do. Drop your memo, and these nominees will proceed by unanimous consent. I’m a man of my word. I’ll stand down. Until then, I’m standing up for the Constitution and the unborn.”

The White House has stated that the decision to halt the move is not politically motivated; however, speculation has only been encouraged since there has been no other reasoning given for the halt.  

The plan to move Space Command was done during Trump’s administration.  Since Biden got into office, there have been two previous reviews to ensure the lack of improper influence in the move of Space Command headquarters to Alabama.  Both reviews have come back conclusive in its lack of concerning findings; hence the murmurs around a third review.  

Some U.S officials say that the stall has come as a result of military personnel not wanting to disrupt operations to pick up and move to a different location.  They cited the need to be operationally ready to help Ukraine at a moment’s notice; as well as the competition to remain strong in the face of China, which may or may not be a threat to U.S endeavors.  


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