Monday, February 8, 2010

Military increases availability of morning-after pill

Tunell Polk
Eng. 12
Prof. Kern


A February 5 article on reports that the birth-control drug levonorgestrel, the generic name for Plan-B one step, is now being carried by all U.S. military health facilities. The Pentagon's Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee made a recommendation which was approved on last Wednesday by the Pentagon's secretary of defense for health affairs, Allen Middleton. The "Morning-After pill", as it is more commonly known, was already available at many military hospitals, but it is now standard.

Until the end of last year, the act of becoming pregnant or causing a female soldier to become pregnant had been banned(2).The article(1) reports that a commander in Iraq tried to install a clause in his code of conduct that would make becoming pregnant or impregnating a soldier a punishable offense. The commander's reasons are thus, When female soldiers become pregnant and have to leave, "a burden is place on the other troops".
There was controversy surrounding the policy and it was not put in order.

Having the pill available in all U.S. military health facilities was the smart thing to do for a military who can't afford to lose soldiers to pregnancy. It remains to be seen if the pregnancy rates drop, but this is a good start. As long as the sexual encounters between soldiers don't interrupt the mission at hand, I personally don't see a problem.

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