Colorado GOP asks Biden to prioritize ‘sanctity of life’ over defense industry in Space Command decision

By: - June 7, 2023 4:43 pm

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Harris, the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” advance crew chief, assists U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Justin Elliot, Thunderbirds commander and leader, after landing at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, May 23, 2022. (U.S. Space Force photo by Paul Honnick/Public domain)

The decision on the site of Space Command’s permanent home should be based on merit, not abortion access, the Colorado Republican Party said in a letter to President Joe Biden. 

In the letter, signed by Colorado GOP Chair Dave Williams, the party said “the protection of unborn children’s lives” should be prioritized over political considerations and the “financial benefit to the defense industry.” Williams also said President Donald Trump was wrongfully accused of making the decision to move Space Command to Alabama based on politics. 


Reports surfaced last month that Biden might incorporate abortion laws into his decision, potentially moving to keep Space Command in Colorado because of the state’s protection of abortion access. 

“Despite this dishonest attack against the 45th President’s motives, it would be very hypocritical for your administration to turn around and make an unfair political decision for the sake of advancing the radical abortion agenda,” the Colorado GOP letter reads. “Considering it is incumbent upon us to defend and protect the most vulnerable members of our society, even before they take their first breath, we again stress that abortion access should not be a factor in this critical decision.” 

Colorado officials including Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis and U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, have asked Biden to keep the command in Colorado. Former Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, a Republican, wrote a letter sharing how he viewed Trump’s decision as purely political.

Military leaders have said Space Command could reach full operational capacity at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs much faster than it could anywhere else, with the lowest cost and disruption to their mission. 

In January 2021, just days before Biden was sworn in, the U.S. Air Force announced Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, as the preferred Space Command base, moving from Peterson Air Force Base, as it was then known, in Colorado Springs, which has housed the command since 1985.

The Trump administration decision was found to have “significant shortfalls in transparency and credibility” according to a Government Accountability Office report. In a separate report by the Defense Department Office of Inspector General, military officials were said to have recommended Colorado Springs as the preferred location but that the ultimate decision to relocate was justified.

“If the main driving force to keep Space Command in Colorado Springs is Colorado’s unfettered abortion laws that provide no restrictions whatsoever, then we strongly affirm that Space Command should stay located in Alabama,” Williams said in the letter. “We would rather protect the life of the unborn than seek to gain political or economic advantages for Colorado Springs and the defense industry.”


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Lindsey Toomer
Lindsey Toomer

Lindsey Toomer covers politics, social justice and other stories for Newsline. She formerly reported on city government at the Denver Gazette and on Colorado mountain town government, education and environment at the Summit Daily News.