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Army general in Iraq issues pregnancy ban

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posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 07:44 PM
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Mothers In Arms

I think this is a good example of how the reductio ad absurdum applies to broad, well-meaning principles that become untenable in practice.

In this case, the general notion of reproductive freedom finds itself at odds with the realities of military service.

There doesn't seem to be much dispute that pregnancy and combat are incompatible. If we accept that as a given, then it becomes clear that pregnancy removes a soldier from combat for up to nine months, and longer if the mother doesn't simply hand the baby off to some sort of foster care at birth.

A soldier who isn't combat-capable is effectively a casualty, as much so as any soldier who is injured and rendered unable to fight whether in the line of duty or not. In a unit consisting of 50% women, a 50% pregnancy rate would reduce the total force by 25% -- enough to reduce its combat effectiveness by a dangerous amount or take the unit out of the fight entirely.

Thus from a purely military point of view, pregnancy can be as much a threat to combat effectiveness as enemy fire.

Viewed from the perspective of motherhood, being a soldier and being a mother embody strong conflicts. It can be difficult if not impossible to do both well.

The absurdity comes into focus when we start considering related, potentially controversial issues:

- Breastfeeding in combat.

- Up-armored baby strollers.

- Separate canteens for baby formula.

- Cease-fires for nap time.

- Armored personnel carriers with baby seats.

- Kevlar diapers.

- Child-resistant hand grenades.

Mothers have unique and indispensable roles in bearing and raising children. Principles and policies that don't take them into account are inherently flawed.

Motherhood could be reduced to in vitro fertilization and women removed from the process, and potentially render the question moot. Children could be considered to be nothing but the end products of pregnancy, to be separated from their mothers while their mothers go to war.

But somewhere along this line of reasoning (or lack thereof), both mothers and children end up being abused.

The notion of willfully combining motherhood with combat duty is patently absurd, and soldiers who are unfit for duty have no place in a combat unit. Training soldiers merely to have them become voluntarily unfit for duty is wasteful and dangerous.

Abstinence and birth control do give women a choice, but choosing to become a mother while assigned to a combat unit seems like a singularly bad combination of choices. The idea of carrying a baby while slinging a machinegun around is inherently comical for a reason.

As for whether pregnancy should result in court-martial, that's apparently up to the military to decide. Bear in mind, soldiers, sailors and airmen sign away a lot of rights that are taken for granted by citizens. If an order is lawful, then it is enforceable under the UCMJ.

YMMV, just sayin'





[edit on 12/19/2009 by Majic]




posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 08:40 PM
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Before you look at this as a bad thing, you have to consider several points:
1) When you join the US Military, or any military service, you cease to have certain rights, including rights to your body. The US military has the right to state and to enforce certain policies and laws, to include on if female personell are allowed to get pregnant or not. Being that it is a combat zone, then the logistics of a female personell getting pregnant is that much more difficult, as she has to be removed from that area, transported to another base and then someone new has to be brought in to fill the position. And it would deter female personell from going out and deliberately getting pregnant while in that area of the world.
2) The area of the world and the customs of the local population. It would be harder for a pregnant woman to work with the local population. We are a guest, though it is a combat zone, in a very religious country and it does not matter if we agree with their views or not, a member of the Military should make attempts to honor the local customs of the population, not try to impose our way of life or values on them.
I have dealt with the US military for about 25 years and the one thing they tell all peronell and their families, is that the american military and the families there of are ambassadors to the host country, and that they should respect the local laws and customs when ever it is acceptable.
3) Due to the amount of flack that the US military has gotten recently for not allowing females into a combat zone, then it would serve that if they are going to be there, demanding equal rights, then they have to give a little, to include not getting children to get out of going to a post that they do not want to go.



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 09:02 PM
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How about chemical castration for male soldiers in the military so "Mr. happy" doesn't find itself impregnating anybody in the war zone.



Even when I agree that women should not be pregnant to get out of the war zone, this action by the Army General can be seen as discrimination against women, as the woman is the one that gets pregnant and carry the fetus to full term

The role of the man is just impregnating and ends there, so the women will be the ones facing the court martial and jail.

So lets use chemical castration on the male soldiers and nobody gets pregnant in the war zone.




posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 09:10 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
The role of the man is just impregnating and ends there, so the women will be the ones facing the court martial and jail.


No, the article clearly states...


Anyone who becomes pregnant or impregnates another servicemember


The question really is should anyone be jailed for impregnating someone or becoming pregnant? Even including married couples?


Including married couples assigned to the same unit


Source Article

[edit on 19-12-2009 by Studious]



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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reply to post by Studious
 


Oh, I missed that one, but still while the male soldier will be able to do his job as usual the one that always gets to get away is the pregnant female.



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 09:20 PM
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What i want to know is how you would have enough time fighting in a war zone to have sex and get pregnant. Surely there are better things to do like for instance fight the enemy ??



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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I understand both sides here. That said, I think that there are two simple basic fact that the millitary men and women deployed there most likely understand far better than any of us here who have note served..

1. A soldier's rights start and stop with their CO. Most American civilians (probably close to 100%) would say that the right to take a crap is an unalienable right... tell that to the millitary who take a toilet break when the CO decides it's time and not a moment earlier. If something as universal and basic as relieving yourself is dictated, then should anyone be surprised that the government feels they have the right to control their soldier's reproductive rights?

2. The "F-word" our troops are deployed to be doing is fighting not the other more cheery 'F-word" which leads to curtain climbers and rugrats.



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 09:52 PM
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It's pretty simple.

Pregnant woman are taken out of war zones per Army policy anyway.

The ban is to mend the non-punitive "loop hole" on that policy by not allowing women to get pregnant and punishing those who are responsible for the pregnancy.



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 09:53 PM
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Originally posted by cenasangel
What i want to know is how you would have enough time fighting in a war zone to have sex and get pregnant. Surely there are better things to do like for instance fight the enemy ??


It's not like the movies. Most of the time spent in a war zone is down time with nothing to do.



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 10:40 PM
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Originally posted by Bunker or Bust
reply to post by Snarf
 


Not wishing to derail the thread but being "grown up"

Would you hire a gay person, someone with a radically different political view, brown eyes we can go on and be silly about it all day long. I Picked hard points but they are valid regardless.

A smoker chooses to smoke, what right do you have to stop them from doing something in the land of the free which is not illegal? If they smell ask to be moved somewhere else in the office. Maybe smokers together? Your statement was based in the fact they do less work, you did not take into account an individuals ability or value to a business.

Should I fire you because you have a lesser car and are sometime late to work due to a lack of horse power?

You can't pick a choose,


If i am sometimes late to work - you would have every reason to fire me, yes.

If my car has less horsepower, i should leave earlier.

You seem to subscribe to the notion that those with should provide everything for those without.

If man A. has 1,000 dollars, and man B.) has 100 dollars, then man A. should give man B 450 dollars, so that both men can be equal.


I can hire peole based on how they fit my needs.

I would not hire someone with severe mental retardation to do corporate accounting. For no reason other than they're incapable of meeting MY demands.

Im not going to pay you to do what YOU want to do. I'll pay you to do what i need you to do, and if you fail to do that, then you should be let go.

Same goes for the military.

Banning pregnancy is just closing a highly exploited loop hole.

There really is no other way to slice it without being completely sexist and biased.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 12:18 AM
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the reason behind this is bay or momas health it is trying to keep from having to evacuate needed grunts from combat zone. think about it if a girl in army wanted out of iraq theater all she had to do was get preggers then out she would go leaving a hole in her unit.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 12:30 AM
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reply to post by Bunker or Bust
 



You can't pick a choose,


actually - i can.

If you were comparing apples to apples, then yes, your argument would be correct. I can't pick and choose.


But you are comparing oranges to the space shuttle.

There are two very basic, fundamental...easily obtainable differences between the two topics at hand and how they relate to the OP.

You choose to ignore those differences.

I understand why, i just wish you'd admit it and move along.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 01:06 AM
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This is just the Army following through with somthing that was put out along time ago.

It has ALWAYS been agenst the general orders in Iraq to not have sex. HOWEVER no one has ever followed up on it and IT WAS NOT enforced against married couples, thats new.

I completly agree with this! I know from personal experiance that TONS of females in my unit would either get pregnant right before they were supposed to deploy or right after they get there.

Lots of people say that the Army works for the public and not the Government. WELL HERE IS ME SUPPORTING THAT THEORY! The people pay the soldiers to be trained to deploy and fight wars. Not to soak up free training and the skip out without earning their pay check.

As far as that comment about abortion in Iraq? No, it dosn't happen. The Army sends people home that get pregnant. THATS WHY THEY DO IT.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 01:16 AM
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Originally posted by ThePeoplesSoldier
It has ALWAYS been agenst the general orders in Iraq to not have sex. HOWEVER no one has ever followed up on it and IT WAS NOT enforced against married couples, thats new.


So let's say some married couples there have sex but use contraception. They think that should prevent pregnancy, but it's only 99% effective, so pregnancy could occur even if they use contraception.

That's where I see the biggest dilemma here if a pregnancy occurs in spite of using contraception. Because of that "99% effective" thing on contraceptives, I guess their only choice to be really sure about not getting pregnant is to abstain.

Because it would be a bummer to use contraception, still get pregnant, and face a court martial.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 01:25 AM
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I did not see it asked so I will ask.

No women in Iraq are allowed to become pregnant. If they do it means court martial.

What happens in the case of rape?

I know some women make choices either way and I know it happens there too and IF it happens and a woman chooses to keep the baby regardless of the ill manner of conception, what then?



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 01:29 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Well said. Also, for religious or other reasons, contraception is not an option for many people.

---

Can this be a lawful order? I thought one test when making a law or order was if it is enforceable. If a woman comes up pregnant, she can chose not to ID the father, so punishment cannot be carried out.

The best I can see, is trying to ban sex; and how can you do that (or even the pregnancy for that matter) if you ALLOW married couples to be deployed and sharing a room/bed?!?



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 02:39 AM
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Originally posted by Flakey
I did not see it asked so I will ask.

No women in Iraq are allowed to become pregnant. If they do it means court martial.

What happens in the case of rape?


My guess is as long as she reported the rape immediately, her consequences will be minimized, and she might be off the hook from a court martial if it was beyond her control. On the other hand, she's probably not the best solder if she can't ward off a rape attack, if it's just one man. She doesn't have to be stronger than the man, just kick him in the nuts and run or something.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 09:00 AM
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One of my co-workers who's in the Army and who was deployed to Iraq told me that when she joined the Army she had to sign a paper which said she agreed not to get pregnant while she was enlisted in the Army. She said that getting pregnant would result in her receiving a dishonorable discharge. I'm not sure about a court-martial because she didn't mention it.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 09:17 AM
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reply to post by cenasangel
 


Well sex is human nature, be a man with a man woman with woman or male and female.

To ban sex is the most ridiculous thing that any General can do specially because of the side effects (pregnancy) perhaps forcing women to be on certain anti pregnancy method can help if that is monitor closely to make sure the military females are on something to prevent pregnancy, as male have not choice but with chemical castration.

But as usual we got the religious "thing" about reproduction and still sex is going to happen no matter what.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by marg6043
 


This is a pragmatic issue. Rights have responsibilities. People get sizable bonuses to join the war effort, only to be able to skip out by becoming pregnant. Birth control can all but eliminate the possibility of pregnancy, if done properly. I am also willing to wager that these pregnancies "mysteriously" have a tendency to coincide with deployment times. The military has every right to do this. Women are now well-educated and in the work force. Historically, concessions were allowed to bring balance to a system in which they could not actively rise. Now that this has changed, the privilege must be eliminated as well. Otherwise, society spirals downward. The desire for rights sans responsibility will implode the west if not corrected. It is certainly damaging to a military unit, and it puts lives on the line. I am an optimist, and I think it will be corrected, but only at the point at which its damage is glaring enough for a tipping pint of people to realize....Leave the misandric sentiments for another thread. This has nothing to do with sexism and everything to do with accountability.



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