Doing a Disservice to Women Who Serve

Today, on its 37th anniversary, Roe v. Wade is still an unfulfilled promise for the women in our military. Women soldiers serving their country overseas and in the United States face impediments to accessing reproductive health care that most civilians take for granted. While military personnel must give up some rights enjoyed by civilians, there is no compelling reason for the current policies and practices that circumscribe their reproductive rights.

In November, Major Gen. Anthony Cuculo III, the commander of U.S. forces in Northern Iraq, put in place a policy that made pregnancy or impregnation an offense subject to a court-martial or jail time, citing military readiness as his justification. Fortunately, the policy was rescinded the next month after widespread criticism, but it points to a larger problem of an institution that is still too reluctant and slow to adapt to the needs of female soldiers.

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