Biden disregards ‘state’s rights’ on abortion with Space Command hold, congressman says
al.com July 6, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — Alabama U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt accused President Biden Wednesday of disregarding “states’ rights and the sanctity of life” and playing politics with a reported plan to stop the U.S. Space Command’s move to Huntsville because of Alabama’s abortion law.
Writing in The Hill, a Washington news site, Aderholt also said moving the headquarters to Alabama will not only “sustain national security, but it will enhance it.” Keeping Space Command at the same Colorado base as “several other space bases creates a concentration of resources and risks this important facility becoming a target of our adversaries,” Aderholt said.
Centralizing national and strategic space organizations “poses an unnecessary and heightened national security threat,” Aderholt said. “This begs the question – what is holding the administration back if Huntsville is clearly the best location based solely on considerations of merit and national security?” Aderholt said. “The answer appears to be politics.”
Specifically, Aderholt said it is “abortion politics.” He cited a 2022 Supreme Court decision overturning Roe V. Wade and leaving abortion laws to the states. The president said that “upsets the balance of law,” and he would “do everything in (his) power to protect abortion rights,” Aderholt said. If Colorado gets the headquarters, Aderholt said “that will reinforce the White House’s gross abuse of political power and the disregard for Alabama’s commitment to the sanctity of life. The two cannot be separated for political expediency.”
The command was started in Colorado, but its permanent home had remained undecided pending a ranking of competing sites. Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal won that ranking, but former President Trump said before leaving office that he personally selected Alabama.
The Secretary of the Air Force told a congressional hearing in March that President Biden hadn’t taken over the headquarters decision. It was “delegated to me and that’s where it stands,” Secretary Frank Kendall said. “I haven’t made a recommendation; I haven’t made a decision. We’re still in the process of doing some analysis.”
But NBC News, citing sources, reported in May that the White House “is laying the groundwork” to stop the move in part because of Alabama’s abortion law. Abortion is illegal in Alabama unless “absolutely necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the pregnant woman,” the law says. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
Aderholt pointed to Huntsville’s No. 1 ranking as headquarters candidate compared to Colorado’s “ranking no higher than No. 4″ in a series of comparisons and Huntsville’s stamp of approval from two federal follow-up reviews. Redstone Arsenal would be home to the headquarters in Alabama.
Aderholt also referred to Space Command Army Gen. James Dickinson’s June meeting with Alabama and Colorado congressional delegations. Dickinson told the delegations moving the headquarters would not pose a national security threat or disrupt “operational capability,” several members of Alabama’s congressional delegation have said.
Aderholt is Alabama’s senior congressional representative after U.S. Rep. Richard Shelby’s retirement this year.
©2023 Advance Local Media LLC.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.