Former college football coach (including head coach at multiple schools) Tommy Tuberville knew of plenty of players who got women, sometimes girlfriends and sometimes one-night stands pregnant. More importantly, when the “coach, can you help me out?” question from a player was made Tuberville took part in arranging abortions. A quiet call to a booster would secure the necessary funds and discretion to keep the whole matter hushed up, including a non-disclosure agreement. Even when he didn’t take such an active part, especially as a head coach (where he could tell an assistant “You know what to do”) Tuberville was aware and looked the other way. That’s what infuriates me so much. His faux morality so he can score political points and more importantly get LOTS of donations to his PAC are what this mess he’s created is all about.
Worse, “journalists” don’t call him out on it. Or other Senators, especially in the GOP. Every time a journalist has the camera rolling the question “How many abortions did you help arranged or sanction your assistants to arrange when you were a football coach?” With a slight variation, that same question should be put to every other Senator whether they support Tuberville specifically on what he’s doing to military promotions or is simply protecting their own ability to, if they one day want to do so put their own “Hold” on something.
However, let’s take a direct look at what Tuberville has been doing for way too many months now, some of which is outlined in this article from USA Today:
Tuberville — a former Auburn and University of Mississippi football coach who is serving his first term in the Senate after winning election in 2021- — opposes the Pentagon’s policy on abortion and reproductive health, which was created after the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion last year. The policy, which Tuberville says is illegal, allows for time off and travel expenses for reproductive health care, including abortion, for troops and their dependents in states where it is not available. The Pentagon pays for abortion only when the mother’s life is in danger or when pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
The article goes on to note his spokesman Steven Stafford claims “Woke” Pentagon leaders are injecting left-wing politics into a “sacred institution” and driving away a generation of potential recruits. Well, first of all if the “institution” of our military is so effing “sacred” GOPers have a weird way of showing it. Yes, the Senate passed the DOD part of the appropriations but it sits unvoted on over in the House and neither Stafford or his boss seem to have any problem with THAT. More to the point though is that what’s causing officers and NCOs on a career path to start planning to leave the service or not joining up in the first place is the prospect of some Senator getting a bug up their ass and deciding to play exactly the kind of games with their careers that Tuberville is playing!
And for women who have followed orders and reported to a duty station in some Red, anti-abortion “we gotta punish them wimminfolk for having sex and getting pregnant” states what Tuberville is doing, with plenty of quieter but solid support from ant-abortion Senators is saying “Well, had you been a woman who was impregnated by one of the football players that would be one thing. But you’re NOT, so despite your service to your country, and regardless of the fact you got stuck serving in the state where you’re posted STFU. You WILL complete (or your body will) making that baby. And if you’re determined to have an abortion we will make it as tough and costly for you as we can!”
That folks is what it boils down to. Tuberville won’t allow the DOD to do for women in the service what he was quite willing to allow, even help arrange for women who got impregnated by one of his players back when he was a college football coach. Worse, he’s not lying when he claims he’s got support. Even someone in the GOP caucus you’d expect to object, Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska is indifferent and won’t call him out:
“I think this is much ado about nothing,” she told USA TODAY on Capitol Hill last week. “There are ways that other people can address this and should, instead of letting this sit on Sen. Tuberville’s shoulders alone. “
Wow. GOPers say there’s be no problem if the DOD just gave them what they want – the ability to prevent military women from having access to abortion, or at least making them pay (more than they already do since they have to pay themselves in most cases for the actual procedure) via having to use up their leave time and also travel costs and hotel costs too. It’s just that no one other than Tuberville was willing to go to this level of extreme.
That any Senator has this kind of power is appalling. It’s not granted anywhere in the Constitution and from what I understand not even specifically spelled out as an individual right of Senators in their vaunted rules. No, it’s just one of those “membership has its privileges” (and my do they love holding themselves out as “The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body”) they informally agreed long ago to give themselves. Almost ALL of them are protective as hell of this particular perk, even when it’s abused like any other form of filibuster which in effect is what a “hold” is.
That’s a whole different subject that maybe I’ll did in to for an Opinion article soon. In the meantime, I’ll say my anger with JOURNALISTS who won’t over and over pose the question I noted earlier in this article to Tuberville and EVERY Senator is almost as great as my anger towards Tuberville himself.
Tuberville’s dismissiveness, his utter contempt for women who serve our country is appalling. Especially when you factor in the hypocrisy. Because I guarantee if he was still a college football coach and some player approached him or an assistant with a “Coach, I’ve got a problem… See there’s this gal I got pregnant, can you help us out?” request he’d not bat an eye in arranging an abortion.