Army general in Iraq issues ban on pregnancy

It’s a “lawful order,” and violators face court-marshall and jail. NBC News reports:

Anyone who becomes pregnant or impregnates another servicemember, including married couples assigned to the same unit, could face a court-martial and jail time, according to an order issued by Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo. . .

Military officials say the order was issued because Army policy requires the force to remove a pregnant soldier from a war zone within 14 days of learning of the pregnancy, creating a hole in a unit that makes it more difficult to complete its mission.

“It is a lawful order,” Thompson said Friday during a phone interview with Stars and Stripes.

Thompson, who has served 29 of the past 39 months in Iraq as an inspector general, told the publication that it’s the first time he can recall pregnancy being prohibited.

Read the rest here.

8 Responses to Army general in Iraq issues ban on pregnancy

  1. Richie Rice December 20, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    Very interesting. I agree with Cucolo. After all, the lives of the soldiers are, in part, in the hands of the other members of their units. If someone is removed due to pregnancy, that unit is weakened, leaving everyone else exposed to greater risk. Not to mention the fact that those whom our armed forces are fighting on behalf of are counting on us to fight diligently. Soldiers make many sacrifices when they decide to join the armed forces, and I am grateful to them and to God for those sacrifices. Is not the right to conceive another sacrifice that is, to quote Saving Private Ryan, “Laid at the altar of freedom”?

    *Disclaimer: This is the opinion of a civilian that has no idea what it is like to be in combat.

  2. Derrick December 20, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

    I also agree with the General. I am a current AF veteran and this has been common practice, on AF controlled bases, as long as I can remember. In fact, even “married” dual military couples are not allowed to be lodged together or involved in any PDA (public display of affection) whatsoever…kind of crazy. But, everything down range is very mission focused and pregnancy/relationships can definitely interfere. So I can understand the logic.

  3. bonnie December 21, 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    Would this type of rule cause an increase in abortions though?

  4. jim armstrong December 22, 2009 at 5:38 am #

    I wonder how ‘forced’ abortions will set with the right to life folks. I know they have the female military members, under orders, to take birth control pills. If they don’t (most of the pills are at most 99% effective) its considered to be insubordination, and those females are so charged. But then again those females DID volunteer, and either knew or should have known the conditions. Including the ‘fathers’ of those pregnancies in all this is fair and shows some insight into the lessening of the possiblity of sexual discrimination, something thats prevalent in the military.

  5. JB December 22, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    Here is the possible reason for the rule. Joanie and Chachi are in the Army and deployed to a combat theater. Joanie tires of deployed life so she gets her groove on with Chachi and becomes pregnant. Joanie gets a free ticket home and Chachi gets to go back to his fighting position.
    Article 115 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice provides punishment for those intentionally injuring themselves for the purpose of avoiding duties. Pregnancy is not an injury, but it is the result of an intentional act – and is sought by some in order to avoid or abate deployment.

  6. Kevin J Jones December 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    This problem would be avoided by barring most women from war zones in the first place.

    I guess that policy is off the table. How noble of us.

  7. moni December 22, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    this will only lead to hiding a pregnancy and all that will do is hurt the unborn child and lead abortions.

  8. Don Johnson December 25, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    The ban has been reversed by a higher command.

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