Punished for pregnancy

La - posted on 12/23/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091222/ts_n...

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. military commander in northern Iraq defended on Tuesday a new policy imposing strict penalties, including possible jail time, for troops who become pregnant or get other soldiers pregnant.

"In this 22,000-soldier task force, I need every soldier I've got, especially since we are facing a drawdown of forces during our mission," Major General Tony Cucolo, who commands U.S. soldiers in northern Iraq, said in a statement.

Cucolo's new directive, issued last month when he took command, lays out a long list of activities that could lead to court martial or criminal charges, from gambling to stealing historical artifacts, and applies only to his command.

The clause about pregnancy has garnered the most attention, affecting seven soldiers under Cucolo's command, according to military spokesman Major Jeff Allen. The command includes 1,682 female soldiers, Allen said.

There are some 115,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, a number set to drop to about 50,000 by the end of August next year as the U.S. military ends combat operations. Under a deal with Iraq, a full withdrawal of U.S. troops is due by the end of 2011.

U.S. Central Command rules do not prohibit "sexual contact between consenting, single servicemembers."

"I wanted to encourage my soldiers to think before they acted, and understand their behavior and actions have consequences -- all of their behavior.

"I consider the male soldier as responsible for taking a soldier out of the fight just as responsible as the female soldier who must redeploy," Cucolo said.

Allen said Cucolo "takes each case on its own merits, considering each set of circumstances before deciding on punishment."

He said such punishment could, in the most serious case, include jail time. But soldiers violating the rule so far have received letters of reprimand.

In a statement to ABC News, Cucolo said he would not resort to using the court martial for such cases.

"I see absolutely no circumstance where I would punish a female soldier by court martial for a violation ... I fully intend to handle these cases through lesser disciplinary action," he wrote, according to the ABC report.

(Reporting by Missy Ryan; editing by Tim Pearce)
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I don't think it is the right of the military to tell you when and if you can get pregnant. What are we turning into, CHINA?!

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JL - posted on 12/23/2009

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They do provide condoms, they provide access to birth control and they openly discuss the issue of sex and pregnancy. Sexual relations between male and female soldiers are discouraged and not openly accepted for a number of reasons. The last thing you need in war is lovers quarrels, the spreading of STDs, the accusations of sexual assault, and people getting knocked up.



I personally have known 5 women some who had been assigned to units which my husband worked in who PURPOSELY got pregnant not because they had some super desire to have kids, or because they were in a committed relationship, or were in love, but because they wanted OUT of their deployment or they wanted the option of having an honorable discharge due to pregnancy.



Can you imagine with all that is going on and all that these commanders have to deal with to on top of it have to patrol adults for being irresponsible about sexual relations with one another. Sorry but they are being completley irresponsible with their duties when they are not doing what they can to make sure they don't get pregnant while deployed and when they chose to become a soldier they knew that their first duty was to their governement and their butts belonged to the US military. Soldiers are not afforded the same civil rights as US citizens and that is just the way it is..don't like it then don't join and this comes from a military brat and an Army wife who has no delusions about what it means to be a member of the US military.



When your choices put others at risk then yes the military has a right to tell you to NOT GET PREGNANT while deployed. They sent you there for a reason because they needed your presence to help with the fight and getting pregnant means you are no longer able to serve your post and now they must send you back home and find another soldier to replace you....one that has probably just gotten back from deployment 6 months ago and now has to go back again.

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Dana - posted on 12/23/2009

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When I first saw this on the news, I thought WTF. It seems to make sense though, you can't depend on someone or make future plans when they just might happen to fall pregnant.

[deleted account]

Because the men are also punished for getting a woman prego, I see little wrong with this. As Joy and some others have already pointed out-if you're a member of the military, you resign certain civil liberties because that's part of your job contract. I don't like it-but that's why I'm not a member of the military. You sign up knowing these things. If only the woman were punished in this situation I think there could be cause for uproar-but he's also punishing the men who get women pregnant, which makes it more fair.

Amanda - posted on 12/23/2009

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Quoting Joy "the historian":

They do provide condoms, they provide access to birth control and they openly discuss the issue of sex and pregnancy. Sexual relations between male and female soldiers are discouraged and not openly accepted for a number of reasons. The last thing you need in war is lovers quarrels, the spreading of STDs, the accusations of sexual assault, and people getting knocked up.

I personally have known 5 women some who had been assigned to units which my husband worked in who PURPOSELY got pregnant not because they had some super desire to have kids, or because they were in a committed relationship, or were in love, but because they wanted OUT of their deployment or they wanted the option of having an honorable discharge due to pregnancy.

Can you imagine with all that is going on and all that these commanders have to deal with to on top of it have to patrol adults for being irresponsible about sexual relations with one another. Sorry but they are being completley irresponsible with their duties when they are not doing what they can to make sure they don't get pregnant while deployed and when they chose to become a soldier they knew that their first duty was to their governement and their butts belonged to the US military. Soldiers are not afforded the same civil rights as US citizens and that is just the way it is..don't like it then don't join and this comes from a military brat and an Army wife who has no delusions about what it means to be a member of the US military.

When your choices put others at risk then yes the military has a right to tell you to NOT GET PREGNANT while deployed. They sent you there for a reason because they needed your presence to help with the fight and getting pregnant means you are no longer able to serve your post and now they must send you back home and find another soldier to replace you....one that has probably just gotten back from deployment 6 months ago and now has to go back again.



Absolutely!  everything that you stated is 100% true.



 



i would also like to point out that in the article of the OP, the Commander stated that he would not court martial a female soldier for falling pregnant but rather reprimand (which typically means jack-squat).   it is terribly irresponsible for a female soldier to become pregnant while deployed, and yes many do so on purpose in order to be sent home.



While deployed my female NCO (which is a position of leadership) in my shop became pregnant by a much younger (19)  and lower ranking male soldier, she then went on leave and had an abortion (which somehow got botched) had complications when she got back to iraq.... she went to the TMC (troop medical center) and did not tell them of them about the abortion.  the HCG levels were still high enough in her blood to be detected and they sent her home.   Now i will get to my point:  because of this my shop (which ran operations 24/7), which was already short handed to begin with, had to compensate for the loss of her.  My young Soldiers no longer got their 1 day a week off, they each had to pick up and additional 4 hours per day (resulting in thier shifts lasting 16-18 hours per day) and i went from an 18 hour shift to a 20 hour shift to compensate.  on top of that i spent a week (every night in my 4 hours that i should have been sleeping) packing her room to send her stuff back to the states.



 



all of that over the unneccessary loss of ONE Soldier, can you imagine when a unit loses on average of 6 soldiers per month to pregnancy (thats about what our unit averaged at one point during our 15 month deployment)? 



 



and you think it's wrong for the Commander to impose MINOR punishment on the male and female involved?!



 



and yes the army readily provides condoms and other birth control methods to its soldiers.

[deleted account]

I was waiting to see Joy's response, from the military point of view. I agree with everything you said!

[deleted account]

Whether the issue is right or wrong, the fact is that the Army can impose sanctions to its soldiers-male or female. I'm on the fence with this one. If the soldiers are now using pregnancy as an excuse to get out of the Army, then I really don't want them protecting the country in the first place since their mind is on their unborn baby. It ranks up there as shooting yourself in the foot to get discharged. However, I also believe that if you chose the military path, then you need to put 100% of yourself into your contract; and that contract is to serve the country. Be responsible and take care of your own birth control needs. Providng the Depo shot is a safe alternative for some women, I agree with that. The military has always provided condems. Yes, I do believe that a court marshal is the extreme, but well within the military's right for any defiant soldier-pregnant or not. No, I don't think the Army is turning into China, but I do think the Army is trying to salvage as many soldiers as possible and in desperate times. I mean, do you see thousands of soldiers volunteering to enlist? I expect some backlash for my opinion, and after all this is a debating board.

[deleted account]

You can get in trouble like that for breaking your arm! Once you sign on your body is Army property! I'm surprised they don't give the women Depo Shots or some long lasting birthcontrol that the army can control rather then relying on her to take a pill every day or something? huh...this does not surprise me nor do I really care! I'd say they shouldn't be able to control this if it weren't for the long list of other controlling things the army does to its soldiers!!!

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