FERTILE CRESCENT

Military Reverses Pregnancy Ban

Good news for American troops serving in northern Iraq this Christmas—you won't have to face a court martial if you get pregnant. The military dropped the controversial provision from a set of updated guidelines originally created by Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo, the top commander in the region. The rule, which he established so combatants would “think before they act,” applies to 22,000 soldiers under his watch—1,682 of whom are women. Under the policy, those who became pregnant or impregnated another would be redeployed, though violators could have been court-martialed. Cucolo, however, said he never intended for that to be the punishment for pregnancy. Under his command, there have been eight cases of female soldiers becoming pregnant—four were given letters of reprimand, while the others were not disciplined because they discovered they were expecting soon after being deployed. All of the women were sent back to America for medical attention, as military policy insists.