CNN Article on Courts-Martial for Pregnancy in Iraq

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by sprog, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. sprog

    sprog Member

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  2. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I'm actually surprised that it took this long for them to make this decision. It seems like this (pregnancy to leave theater) has been an issue for a while.

    Perhaps with the looming drawdown in Iraq now they can better afford to have "both parties" leave early.

    Probably the right decision that should have been made a long time ago to avoid looking bad. They've needed to have a more detailed (I haven't seen the policy yet to see if it truly is detailed or not) procedure on fraternization issues that affect battlefield readiness or a long time.
     
  3. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    I wonder if the Navy will follow suit. They could enforce this on ships and subs.

    Personally, I am not opposed to this at all. If you are going to accept a job in theater, you have an obligation to maintain your health and fitness to serve.
    However, this is a *slippery-slope* - our government typically doesn't interfere with husband/wife conjugal relations.

    Excellent point. In the height of battle they probably would not have wanted to court-martial a male soldier who was otherwise needed desparately in the war.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    No loving on ships. It's banned. So are relationships. It may be hard to lose two bodies on ship, as each is a cog in a well oiled machine.
     
  5. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Actually, I do believe the "slippery-slope" is addressed in the procedure and married couples are specifically excluded. I saw another article mentioning it someplace else...

    I would be concerned if married couples were the case.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    i'm not sure what I think about married couples being located in the same units, living together and sleeping together. Losing a body to pregnancy during a troop draw down is the same, whether they wear a wedding band stateside or not.

    They set themselves up for this problem earlier.

    It's an Army problem and it's something they should figure out sooner rather than later.
     
  7. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    You can ban it but not stop it. Females have indeed become pregnant while serving on a ship but I have never heard of a court martial for either her or her partner.

    goaliedad - married couples who are serving together may indeed have conjugal relations but the article I read said the pregnancy ban applies to them as well.
    That said, I don't think it's the married couples that are the problem.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I know when Bullet was in the sandbox, a couple of days before they were to go forward to the green zone from Kuwait, a female officer who was there with her DH came up to him and said I can't go, I am pregnant. It caused a large disruption, and for one unfortunate officer who was to be returning home, his assignment just got extended due to her. It is not only the unit that gets affected, but the families at home who now have to endure a deployment that was never expected.

    I recall when Gulf 1 occurred, there was an officer who got a girl pregnant while in the sandbox, both were summarily sent home. He received an article 15, so there has been officers punished in the AF, but I think that it is a situation where it depends upon the command. Many commanders prefer to sweep it under the rug, because it does not look well upon them from a leadership standpoint.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I have. And I've seen and heard of careers ended because of it. Not the pregnancy, but the act.

    Agree, you can't stop in, some ships out there because "Love Boats".
     
  10. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    right and haven't those been because of other UCMJ violations - adultery or frat?

    This is why this order is different.
     
  11. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    This isn't a slippery slope, it's covering all bases and by using this language:

    "Anyone who leaves this fight early because they made a personal choice that changed their medical status"

    It completely covers them. Now, wait and see if the ACLU or some "other"
    great American organization forces the hand and brings up the "womans right to free speech" into the arena, that will get real interesting.
     
  12. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Found the link to the other article...

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/12/ap_iraq_pregnant_soldiers_court_martial_121809/

    So if marital visits are OK, so are the unintended consequesnce thereof? Kind of hard to prosecute.
     
  13. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    All I know is General Order 1B prohibits sexual intercourse. In fact it pretty much bans any and all PDA. So in order to get pregnant you have to violate a general order which to me is a UCMJ offense. Nowhere in the order does it mention a clause for married couples; however, I have heard of the Army allowing married couples to room together.

    Now the tricky part: how do you prove that someone got pregnant while in theater? You can do all the extrapolating you want; however, the date of conception is a piece of medical information that should not be released to the command. The fact that the person is pregnant is releasable; however, the estimating of the dates is not. Now granted you can always figure it out if you've been in country for more than a month and all the sudden you are pregnant.

    Anyway, just a thought or two on the matter.
     
  14. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I don't think this order was directed at married couples in theater, as most married couples in the services are not going to want to separate as a result of the pregnancy and will wait until end of tour to work on family matters.

    I think orders like these expose the problems the services get into when they don't have clearly defined rules of behavior that are consistently enforced. I think the winking going on at fraternization in-theater (and out for that matter) led to the need to deal with pregnancy like this.

    Yes, when you are leading a large force with varying degree of committment (yes, there are some who joined up without the intent of ever going into an active combat zone) there is going to be some exploitation of the fringes of the rules. The test of the rules comes when that is recognized and dealt with. To this end, this is a very necessary policy. Just wondering why it took so long.
     
  15. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    If the Army can declare an immunization requirement as a mandatory part of a soldier's medical preparation, why can't they make all females in the Army receive a mandatory contraception injection as well?

    :eek:
     
  16. sprog

    sprog Member

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  17. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Probably because it would in effect ban practicing Catholics from serving, as technically contraception is not allowed (don't ask how many listen), being required to use it might draw some fire from SCOTUS.
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree that you probably can't give them Depro because it could interfere with their religious beliefs. However, I wonder why they can't order a blood test performed as they do immunizations. This test could be given 72 hours prior, if it comes out positive, at least she is still back at their permanent station, if it comes out negative and she becomes pregnant, then it is clear that she broke the rule set forth.
     
  19. sprog

    sprog Member

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    It most certainly would never fly for civilians (thankfully). The military does get a lot of leeway from the Supreme Court though, and they refuse to hear a lot of military cases as they deem it a "political question." That is, they don't want to interfere with the ability of the military to maintain good order and discipline (especially during war). I mean the thought of criminal sanctions being applied to a woman for getting pregnant would never in a million years be constitutional for civilians; but, for the military, it is probably lawful in the context the CNN article lays out. A requirement for contraception might play the same way, as even the free exercise of religion isn't the same for military members. I mean, some religions may not approve of immunizations, yet military members have to get them no matter what, right? (unless there is a medical contraindication). Personally, I wouldn't support forced contraception for those deploying (male or female), as I think troopers should be treated as adults and not have the Army make such a personal medical choice for them in that regard (there should be appropriate punishment for those who break the rules, no question). Still, it wouldn't suprise me if it is legal to force contraception, although I doubt any commander would want to impose it.
     
  20. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    I had thought about that immunization issue before posting. Immunization is a public health issue dealing with an environmental exposure (beyond personal control) issue as opposed to personal behavior that is already regulated by the military which birth control falls under. If I were sitting on the SCOTUS, I'd be laughing at the necessity of this. Enforce the rules on the books and you don't need this one. The military can step outside the bounds of the constitutional protections afforded civilians only when a specific practice is necessary for the mission. I'm not seeing birth control as necessary if other practices are enforced.
     

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