Navy Aims to Anchor Unplanned Pregnancy

February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) is the United States Navy peer-mentoring program. Throughout the month of January, CSADD will be hosting information sessions on family planning on topics such as: parental leave, the best forms of birth Imagecontrol, and operational deferment.  In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the national average of unplanned pregnancies was 49 percent. While unplanned pregnancies are an apparent problem across the nation, it is an even worse across the military services-65 percent. However, the U.S. Navy has an astonishing 74 percent of unattended pregnancies. Nearly three-fourths of reported pregnancies are unplanned. To delve into the statistics even deeper, we will find that of those that reported unplanned pregnancies, only 31 percent were using birth control, and on the reports involving enlisted women, 70 percent entailed fathers who were also in the military.

So what? Why is unplanned pregnancy such a bad thing in this case? As part of their campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancies, the Navy highlights the impact that unplanned pregnancy can have on any servicemember’s career. Amongst the list of negative impacts includes: disqualification from a sea duty position needed to advance one’s career, jeopardizing operational readiness, and the financial and personal investment needed.

All women in the military have access to contraceptive counseling. However, birth control can be hard to come by considering the nature of their assignments. Not all combat areas or bases stock certain birth control tools like patches, injections, or contraceptive rings. Sometimes, women are even expected to bring a whole year supply of pills with them on their assignments.

Clearly, the historical lack of support and attention to unplanned pregnancies has jeopardized women’s careers and futures in the military-specifically on active duty. There is a serious need to investigate the causes behind these unplanned pregnancies, whether it is a lack of education, reduced access to contraception,  or even an unhealthy work environment. More specifically, how the lack of attention to this issues has  impacted women in the military.

– Brandi S.

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