Pregnant Woman Kicked Out of Air Force.
A single mom who was booted from the military for being pregnant says she was told she could have continued to serve if she’d had an abortion.
Rebecca Edmonds, who joined the Air Force as an ROTC cadet in 2007 when she was 18 years old, is now battling the military after she was kicked out for telling her superiors she was having a baby.
Edmonds, who opened up about her ordeal in a recent CNN interview, found out she was pregnant 11 weeks before she was scheduled to graduate and become a commissioned officer, and says she didn’t say anything because she didn’t know the military had a policy against single parents.
She says she then became terrified to reveal she was expecting after an officer who didn’t even know she was pregnant told her it would likely cause a problem.
“He just says, ‘I don’t know what would happen to a cadet if she were to become pregnant. But I don’t think it would be good. So just don’t get pregnant,’” Edmonds recalled of the conversation.
“At that point I thought, OK, I don’t think I have to tell anybody this,” she told CNN. “I’m scared now.”
She went ahead and completed her training, and was sworn in as a second lieutenant by her father, a Navy veteran.
But at six months pregnant, when she told her commanding officers that she would soon be due to give birth, she quickly found herself ejected from the Air Force.
Officials pointed to the contract she signed with the ROTC, which she joined after being offered a full scholarship to Marquette University, and accused her of fraud for going against the Air Force’s rules about single parenthood and hiding that she was having a baby.
She was separated from the service over the pregnancy and the Air Force held her liable for the $92,000 scholarship she recieved, which she now has to pay back to the military.
What stung the most, Edmonds said, was that military officials suggested she would have been able to keep her place as an officer if she had found a way to give up her child, either through adoption or abortion.
She says she asked the officer who notified her that she was being dis-enrolled from the Air Force, “Had I terminated the pregnancy before my commissioning, would I have been able to commission at that point?” and that he responded “Well. Technically, yes.”
“That was the hardest part of all of this,” Edmonds, a Catholic, told CNN. “Someone telling me to my face that had I gotten an abortion, then I would be eligible for service.”
In shooting down Edmonds’s appeal, an Air Force official also confirmed that her situation could have been re-evaluated if she was no longer a single parent .
“If Ms. Edmonds had reported her pregnancy she would have been placed on medical recheck status until she gave birth,” Air Force Col. Kelly L. Goggins wrote in response to the first complaint Edmonds filed. “At that time she would have been able to commission if she were not a single parent, for example, if she were married, or had given the child up for adoption.”
A spokesman for the Air Force denied any knowledge of a conversation between Edmonds and an officer in which abortion was discussed as an option to stay on active duty, and hit back at the claim that the military pressures single moms to give up their children.
“The Air Force is very concerned about the well-being of children, which is the primary reason the Air Force does not enlist or commission single parents into the Air Force,” Maj. Joel Harper told CNN in a statement. “The assertion that the Air Force would in any way encourage single parents to give up their children is unfounded.”
For now, Edmonds’s appeal, which was initially rejected, is under review.
In the meantime, she lives with her 10-month-old son and the father of her baby and works as a pediatric nurse, trying to pay back the military month by month. She hopes her story can change the military’s policy, and help other women in the same situation.
My opinion: Rules are rules and she signed the form that had the rule about pregnancy. If she is living with the father of the child why not get married so she could keep her child *and* stay in the Air Force, if it was so important to her? Also, there are many methods of birth control.
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Re: Pregnant Woman Kicked Out of Air Force.
Agreed... looks like marriage would have sufficed in order to maintain her commission. It looks like she probably chose to separate from the service, an option afforded to pregnant women, not expecting she was going to have to repay the scholarship. Bottom line, she didn't uphold her part of the contractual agreement.
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Re: Pregnant Woman Kicked Out of Air Force.
didn't read it all but did see cadet. and of course they'd kick her out. It's a liability issue. If they make her do martial arts training and she miscarries, guess who's fucked?
She could easily just get out have the kid and go back in or some shit. But they didn't kick her out because she was pregnant. I've known plenty of women in the Marines who had kids. They kicked her out because she negged on her contract like the dude above me said.
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