NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) sent a letter to Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill ‘Haggarty,’ [sic] supporting, ‘elimination of the military’s funding of travel and other expenses for military members to obtain abortions.’
Ragan wrote it was a ‘pattern of overbearing, “woke” ultimatums…like ‘accommodating “trans-sexuals.”’
“I understand that the morale of the troops is something that needs to be considered,” Ragan said. “In this particular case, I don’t feel that it was.”
The move comes as Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) is holding up hundreds of military promotions over the military’s abortion policy.
Ragan’s support letter then infuriated House Minority Leader Karen Camper (D-Memphis).
“I was outraged, to be honest with you,” Camper said. “I was upset that we were politicizing the military.”
Both Ragan and Camper served in the military for more than 20 years a piece—Camper in the Army and Ragan in the Air Force.
The Oak Ridge Republican said Tennesseans shouldn’t be paying taxes for something they ideologically disagree with.
“The funding for that should not be for taxpayer expense. Now, I personally am opposed to abortion,” Ragan said. “However, it is a state-determined function, and there are states that allow it.”
It’s a notion Camper took offense with.
“It’s my money, too. The very taxpayers he’s talking about, it’s their money, too,” she said. “There are some people that don’t want their tax dollars to pay for a stealth fighter they just couldn’t find, but it does.”
Camper is referring to an incident over the weekend where the Marine Corps lost an F-35 stealth fighter jet after a mishap forced the pilot to eject. The military then found it late Monday evening.
Ragan said he was simply sharing his opinion, something Camper should respect.
“While she’s entitled to her opinion, she should allow me to be entitled to mine,” Ragan said. “The women’s healthcare issue is a bogus, false-flag operation in my opinion. What about the healthcare of the unborn child?”
Camper said her frustration wasn’t so much borne of the letter itself – though she admitted anger at that, too – but more so over the fact that Ragan sent it to the Tennessee Veterans Caucus. The Caucus, which consists of lawmakers who served in the armed forces, was co-founded by Camper.
“If he had just decided, ‘I’m just going to send this letter, this is just my opinion,’ I may not even have known about the letter,” she said. “But when it came into my email box asking me to co-sign onto something that’s as egregious as that was, in my opinion – because [my opinion] counts, too.”