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Unplanned Pregnancies Among Deployed Women Affect More Than Mother and Child; Troop Readiness at Issue Cont.
- Duberstein L. Unintended pregnancy among women in the U.S. military. Doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.01.017.
- Bray RM, Hourani LL, Rae Olmsted KL, et al. 2005 Department of Defense survey of
Health-related behaviors among active duty military personnel: A component of the
Defense Lifestyle Assessment Program (DLAP). Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010: Understanding and
Improving Health. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2000.
Military policies on pregnancy
An Alliance for National Defense Issue Paper (www.4militarywomen.org/Pregnancy.htm) offers the following summary of military policies on pregnancy: “The military services have extensive policies in place addressing pregnancy (see MCO 5000.12 E of 8 Dec 04, Army Regulation 40-501 Profiling Pregnant Soldiers, Air Force Instruction 44-102 Community Health Management (includes pregnancy policies), COMMANDANT INSTRUCTION 1900.0 Pregnancy in the Coast Guard, and OPNAVINST 6000.1B of 4 Mar 2003 for examples). These policies stress that ‘By itself, pregnancy should not restrict tasks normally assigned to servicewomen (OPNAVINST) and that it is the servicewoman’s responsibility to try to plan her pregnancies with regard to her military duties [around operational necessities] (MCO).’ Service women also must notify their commanders of their medical condition immediately in order to ensure the command can carry out its responsibilities. Army Regulation 600-20 states, ‘Soldiers have a responsibility to ensure their unit commander is made aware of problems which affect the discipline, morale and effectiveness of the unit-chapter 2-1 Chain of Command.’
The Army, whose policies are often closely reflected by other service branches, has the following policies concerning pregnancy:
If unsatisfactory performance or conduct warrants separation, or if parenthood interferes with duty performance, you may be separated even though you are pregnant. AR 635-200; pars. 5-8, 11-3, and 13-2, and fig. 8-1.
Single parents or dual military couples must have an approved Family Care Plan (FCP) on file. AR 600-8-24, tables 2-5 and 3-4; AR 600-20, par. 5-5; AR 601-280, par. 8-4; AR 635-200, pars. 8-9 and 8-10, and fig. 8-1.
Soliders may request ordinary, advance, or excess leave in order to return home or to another appropriate place for the birth, or to receive maternity care. AR 600-8-10, pars. 4-27, 4-28, 5-3, 5-5, 5-6, 5-7, and 5-13, and tables 4-14, 5-3, and 5-4.
Soldiers may choose to remain in the Service or separate. AR 635-200, pars. 1-16, 1-36, 5-11, and 6-3, and chapter 8.
Family planning services: Eligible upon request at MTFs. AR 40-400, par. 2-17.
Abortions: Only performed when the life of the mother is in danger. AR 40-400, pars. 2-18 and 3-39.
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