US Commander in Iraq Threatens Court-Martial for Pregnancy
Order applies to both women and men
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2009 4:54 PM CST
The Army general who oversees forces in northern Iraq has instituted a policy making court-martial a possible punishment for becoming pregnant or impregnating a service member.   (<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/" target="source">©</a><a href="http://flickr.com/search/people/?m=name&q=David Boyle" target="source">David Boyle</a>)

(Newser) – The general in command of American forces in northern Iraq has instituted an order making court-martial a possible punishment for becoming pregnant—or for impregnating a service member or civilian employee. The policy, which covers both single and married personnel, has not been enforced; it applies only to situations in which redeployment is necessary because of the pregnancy.It is "applicable to all United States military personnel, and to all civilians, serving with, employed by, or accompanying" forces serving under Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo III.

"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 tells Stars and Stripes."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," says a military law professor. But he says the policy, which military lawyers have approved, involves "a mare’s nest of legal, ethical and policy issues."