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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Women in Iraq: Don't Get Pregnant or Else!

Major General Anthony Cucolo, head of Army forces in northern Iraq, issued an order in November forbidding pregnancy among military personnel under his command. In a recent telephone interview, the general said, "The message to my female soldiers is that I need you for the duration.” Military rules require that pregnant soldiers vacate a war zone within 14 days of the Army learning of the pregnancy. The general also said, according to news reports, "I can’t tell you how valuable my female soldiers are. They fly helicopters. They run satellites. They’re mechanics. They’re medics. Some of the best intelligence analysts I have happen to be female. You start losing them when you’re facing a drawdown, and you really hurt the unit.” The ban includes married couples stationed together.

The draconian nature of this measure has broad implications for women serving in Iraq. The ban doesn't include sexual actiivity so soldiers can have all the sex they want as long as they make sure they don't become or remain pregnant. The implications in terms of promoting birth control and abortion are obvious. This puts incredible pressure on the woman who becomes pregnant to have an abortion as well as giving the man, if he's a fellow soldier, a serious reason to pressure her to kill the baby. It also puts the general in the bedroom shaking his finger at the couple saying, "Uncle Sam needs you. No babies allowed."

This isn't the only example of anti-family sentiment in the Army. In November Alexis Hutchinson, a single mom, deliberately missed her deployment flight to Afghanistan because she had no one to take care of her 10-month-old son. Her mother intended to care for the boy, but cancelled and the Army refused to provide more time for an alternate placement plan demanding she put her child with protective services for foster home placement. Hutchinson did not comply and was briefly imprisoned. Her deployment is now on hold. Single parents aren't the only ones impacted by situations like this. The Army frequently deploys both parents to war zones requiring families to leave their children in the care of relatives or friends.

General Cucolo's ban on pregnancy draws one squarely back to the argument about women in the military. Why does the military even allow single moms to enlist or deploy women, other than nurses, to war zones? The answer is easy. An all volunteer military in a country that has murdered one third of its children for the last thirty years has no option. The pool of recruits is limited. But does that justify a general virtually standing in the bedroom at the foot of the bed with a condom in one hand and a disciplinary order in the other telling married couples when they can have children? You don't give up fundamental human rights when you join the Army. But this is the same anti-family military that thinks nothing of deploying both parents to a war zone and imprisoning a single mom whose childcare plan fell through.

What's next in this topsy-turvy world where individuals are seen as nothing but canon fodder and wage slaves?

Army general in Iraq issues pregnancy ban

Seven soldiers punished thus far under pregnancy ban


Gargamella Creations said...

I can't believe how many people think this is a good idea. Just because the man involved is punished too doesn't make it acceptable.

Anonymous said...