Disgraced Naval Commander Reveals Risks of Abortion on Military Bases

Two weeks ago pro-abortion groups and their elected Democratic lackeys launched another offensive against pregnant military women and their precious fetuses by pushing for a Senate vote on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to overturn legislation that prohibits non life-saving abortions at US military clinics  (h/t lifenews.com).  Abortion advocates claim to have the best interests of women at heart, in that they merely wish to provide the euphemistic “full range of reproductive-health care options” to service members who have become pregnant through rape; however, this 2010 policy paper from the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher research institute clearly states that the pro-abortion forces’ ultimate intent is taxpayer-funded abortion on demand at all military medical facilities (1). (h/t Michael Angsley at BigPeace)

In a remarkable coincidence, the sexual harassment allegations against Commander Fred Wilhelm, who was relieved of command of the USS Gunston Hall, also became public two weeks ago, bringing to light the risk of Female Repression and Abortion Under Duress (FRAUD) that would result if the uterine curettage cultists have their way.

A female officer said that in early 2010, when the [USS Gunston Hall] was deployed to Haiti, she made a comment in the wardroom that she was hungry. [Commanding Officer Fred] Wilhelm, she said, asked her if she was pregnant. She replied, “No sir, I’m not.” She said he replied, “Good, because if you were, I’d hand you a coat hanger.”

(Source The Navy Times)

Despite the NARAL’s false claim of the moral high ground on this issue, all pro-life and pro-choice Senators should support the servicewomen who protect us by standing firm against assaults on the military installation abortion ban (2).  If mandated by Congress to provide abortion services, the Department of Defense, given its pregnancy-incompatible primary mission and its near absolute authority over its members, will inevitably induce some of its most vulnerable pregnant airmen, marines, sailors, and soldiers to abort. 

Social and professional pressure to abort
Although not often stated so explicitly or crassly as CDR Wilhelm’s remarks, pregnant military women face greater social and professional pressures than their civilian counterparts. Pertinent military regulations take pregnant women out of the fight. No matter how talented, intelligent, and effective she may be, a servicewoman for the duration of her pregnancy and the post-partum deployment deferment period, is by definition a second class member of the team. Also, unlike private sector employees who have invested their own money in the knowledge and skills that they bring to the job, military personnel are paid to attend free training; therefore, time on the job lost for each child born is more costly to the Department of Defense than to other employers.  Finally, pregnancy in any military setting, down to the most collegial rearguard training command, has a far greater impact on supervisors and co-workers than is experienced in the private sector. Command leaders do not have the same flexibility in hiring temporary replacements that civilian employers enjoy. As a result, watch rotations are left shorthanded for months at a time, and collateral duties are reassigned to people who already have insuperable workloads.  Because the armed services pay by the month and not the hour, shipmates left to pick up the slack receive no recompense for their efforts.

Evolution of the medical corps to a pro-abortion outlook
Military medical hospitals, clinics and shipboard departments are also too different from private sector hospitals and practices for conscience rules to protect pro-life medical personnel and those who are pro-choice but personally opposed to abortion. The military core value of teamwork makes isolating one doctor’s activities from the corpsmen, nurses, physician’s assistants, pharmacists, and other doctors in the clinic impossible.  Because of the chain of command structure, the senior medical officer of every military clinic would unavoidably be a direct accessory to abortion; therefore, doctors who do not want to be involved in abortions would find their potential for promotion very limited. Medical personnel who believe that abortion is an ethical, beneficial therapy in a wide range of circumstances, on the other hand, would be free to recommend the procedure to their patients. Over time, the politically correct outlook in the medical corps would resemble that of a thriving abortion clinic. Perhaps when President Obama put the
*corpse* in corpsman
, it wasn’t a gaffe after all.

Institutionalized obedience to healthcare providers
The unique relationship between service members and their healthcare providers is a third factor that would make an abortion mandate for military clinics problematic. For health related matters, all are by position subordinate to, if not outranked by, their primary care physicians, whose medical prescriptions constitute lawful orders. They are required to undergo a review of their medical readiness annually and prior to deployments or transfers.  Failure to report for required medical appointments is a punishable offense. Service members are well-aware that their bodies in some respects belong to the government.  By the time they finish basic training, they have been examined in every imaginable way. They are inoculated against diseases that they never knew existed, whether or not they want to be.  What are highly personal matters to the rest of us, such as body mass index, hairstyle, and fingernail length, are governed by impersonal instructions. Waivers for men and women alike, even for religious reasons, are extremely rare. In the military setting, the lines between informing a service member that abortion is available to her, recommending that a service member have an abortion, and ordering a service member to have an abortion can easily become blurred.

The fact is that the military is incapable of being pro-choice on anything related to unit readiness.  Behaviors are either prohibited or encouraged. The current situation, where elective abortion takes place off base at the service member’s own expense, is a delicate balance that creates a safety buffer between the needs of the military and the innocent child.  Instead of being a kindly deed for rape victims, overturning the military abortion ban would be an affront to the 2180 American service women pregnant at any given time, putting them at a higher risk of aborting their children through undue pressure, the misperception of professional medical guidance, and unlawful orders from bullies like Fred Wilhelm (3,4).

1. There is a glaring error in this report. Guttmacher Institute uses the annual earnings figure of $23,000 per year for a servicewoman with three years of service time to make a case for taxpayer funded abortion. According to the 2010 military pay chart 2010 military pay chart, this figure takes into account base pay and the basic allowance for subsistence, without factoring in the value of free military lodging. Whether this is an intentional lie or a careless mistake, it renders suspect all other figures cited by Guttmacher. 

 2. In 2003 the “National Abortion Rights Action League” changed its name to “NARAL Pro-Choice America” because, I suppose, they rightfully loathe the truth about themselves. For the purpose of appearances, it would have been better for them to lobby for both abortions and adoption services on base.

3. There were 780 reported rapes involving American service members in Fiscal Year 2009 according to a
Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services report (page 149). This figure includes rapes where a service member is the perpetrator against a civilian, and rapes where a man is the victim. Although I have never experienced rape, I wish I could make the pain of the victims go away. Aborting a baby doesn’t help, but rather, ironically, rolls the violence downhill onto an innocent fetus and inflicts further insult on the woman. Having an abortion without confronting the perpetrator with the full force of the law, which the Guttmacher Institute suggests is a compassionate aspect of overturning the military ban, callously leaves every other woman vulnerable to the same attacker.

4.  Department of Defense pregnancy figures were difficult to find.  A 1997 estimate, apparently acceptable for US Air Force academic use, is that 10% of the female force is pregnant at any time. This percentage was used to derive an estimated number of pregnancies from military personnel statistics obtained from the Department of Defense here
here and here.