Biden administration considering not moving Space Command to Alabama over abortion law: report
The latest review followed two other extensive reviews that took place after President Joe Biden took office.
The Biden administration may be laying the groundwork to stop U.S. Space Command's headquarters from being moved to Alabama, partially because of concerns about the state's severe abortion restrictions, according to a report Tuesday.
While the White House said that Alabama's abortion law, which only allows the procedure to save a mother's life, was not a component in its review of the decision to place Spacecom's permanent headquarters in the state, two U.S. officials and one Defense official familiar with the discussions told NBC News that the state law is factoring into the White House's decision.
"This is all about abortion politics," one U.S. official said.
"The belief is they are delaying any move because of the abortion issue," another official said, referring to the Biden administration.
The White House in December ordered the Air Force to review the Trump administration's process that led to the decision to relocate Spacecom's headquarters from Colorado to Huntsville, Alabama, the location of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The administration ordered the review after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion case.
The latest review followed two other extensive reviews that took place after President Joe Biden took office. Those reviews found no improper political influence occurred when making the decision to move the headquarters to Alabama.
Some U.S. officials said that the White House does not plan on announcing that Spacecom will not be moved to Alabama until after the administration mends relations with Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). He has blocked more than 200 Biden defense-related promotions in protest of the Pentagon's policy that allows the Defense Department to pay for travel costs for service members and their dependents to obtain abortions.
The Biden administration is "trying to delay as much as possible" before announcing a decision about the headquarters, a third U.S. official said, because "they don’t want to aggravate Tuberville even more."