Serving U.S troops could face prison if they fall pregnant while active

Posted: 12/21/2009 by Lynn Dartez in 2011

Mail Online

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:45 PM on 20th December 2009

A top US commander is threatening soldiers who fall pregnant on active service with jail.

Under the new policy, troops expecting a baby face court martial and a possible prison term – and so do the men who made them pregnant.

And the rule applies to married couples at war together, who are expected to make sure their love lives do not interfere with duty.

Usual US Army policy is to send pregnant soldiers home from combat zones within 14 days.

But Major General Anthony Cucolo, who runs US operations in northern Iraq, issued the new orders because he said he was losing too many women with critical skills.

He needed the threat of court martial and jail time as an extra deterrent, he said.

All troops under his command are covered by the extension to the military’s legal code – the first time the US Army has made pregnancy a punishable offence.

Ten female soldiers Active soldiers who fall pregnant would be imprisoned under new proposals

‘I’ve got a mission to do, I’m given a finite number of soldiers with which to do it and I need every one of them,’ Maj Gen Cucolo said.

‘So I’m going to take every measure I can to keep them all strong, fit and with me for the twelve months we are in the combat zone.’

Married soldiers on active service should either put their love lives on hold or take precautions. It was a ‘black and white’ issue, he said.

Legal experts said the policy raised serious ethical questions.

‘Here you really have issues that go to the core of personal integrity: reproductive rights,’ said Eugene Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale Law School and is president of America’s National Institute of Military Justice.

The prohibition was fraught with ‘a mare’s nest of legal, ethical and policy issues’ highlighting the discord between personal autonomy and military needs, he said.

‘You have to assume it’s in response to a number of incidents that have caused female GIs to be sidelined at a time when they can’t be spared.’ Maj Gen Cucolo commands the US Army’s division north in Iraq, including Balad, Mosul, Tikrit, Samarra and Kirkuk.

Court martial for pregnancy is not an Army-wide policy but division commanders have the authority to impose such restrictions, a Pentagon spokesman said.

Under Maj Gen Cucolo’s order, troops also are prohibited from ‘sexual contact of any kind’ with Iraqi nationals.

And they cannot spend the night with a member of the opposite sex, unless married or with express permission.

The order outlines 20 barred activities, mostly to keep order and stem criminal activity, such as selling a weapon or taking drugs.

But other restrictions aim to stop soldiers leaving their unit short- handed, including becoming pregnant or undergoing elective surgery that would prevent their deployment.

The order does not specify how long any jail term should be.

‘When a soldier becomes pregnant or causes a soldier to become pregnant through consensual activity, the redeployment of the pregnant soldier creates a void in the unit and has a negative impact on the unit’s ability to accomplish its mission,’ an Army spokesman said.

‘Another soldier must assume the pregnant soldier’s responsibilities.’

British Army policy is to send pregnant troops home, a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said.

  1. Rick M. says:

    Lmao@ what Longknife had to say ! lol When I enlisted I was in the first cycle of soldiers to train with females. They were just a distraction. I did enjoy their company at times and some of them proved to be better warriors than some of the guys. Overall though It was of my opinion that they train seperate from the rest of the company. With a female commander as well she would have nothing to do with that. She let the females take the lead in our forced marches and it just held us back!! I to this day have mixed feelings about woman serving in combat but I will not forget the tenacity of some of these woman fighters.

  2. Longknife 21 says:

    How the hell do you fall pregnant? Unless severe drunken. Usually takes a considerable amount of strenous effort, at least at the end. This is stupid! Combat makes folks hornier than billy-goats, I think it is hard-wired by GOD, continuation of the species and all that. Put women in combat and there will be beaucoup boom-boom.
    Also I remember no less an authority than Gen. George Patton said, “A soldier that won’t f**K, won’t fight!”
    What the hell do they expect! Stupid Liberals!

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