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Ex-Soldier: 'Unspoken Code' Encourages Military Women to Have Abortions

"a good soldier will have an abortion"

Bethany Saros, a 27-year-old from Apple Valley, Minnesota, found herself in a tough position when she became pregnant while on a military deployment in Iraq. Now, the ex-soldier is coming forward to share her story -- a tale that will likely be disconcerting to abortion opponents.

Saros claims that there's an unwritten code in the military and that, by deciding to keep her baby, she violated it. While the sexually-active young woman used protection, she still ended up conceiving. In a piece on Salon.com, she described the disappointment her commanding officers felt as a result of the incident:

No one ever said to my face that they were disappointed in me, but I could see it in the eyes of my commander, my first sergeant and my boss. They all congratulated me but I sensed I had let them down in some way.

Considering the horror of finding out one is pregnant while on the battlefield, the emotions she describes in the piece are understandable. This is especially true when considering one of the stigmas that Saros claims is well-known in the military. When a woman gets pregnant while on deployment, many assume that she did it on purpose.

Keeping the child, she says, isn't something that's necessarily looked at as a favorable choice. She writes:

The unspoken code is that a good soldier will have an abortion, continue the mission, and get some sympathy because she chose duty over motherhood. But for the woman who chooses motherhood over duty, well, she must have been trying to get out of deployment. [...]

Instead of being seen as making a responsible parenting decision, you are seen as a faker, a soldier who couldn’t take the pressure and went to extreme lengths to get out. I’m sure there are some women who have.

Despite the challenges she faced concerning judgement from her peers and the higher-ups who were discontented with her decision, she decided to forge on with her pregnancy. Today, she's married, has a second child and seems extremely happy with her choice to carry her pregnancy to term.

Read more about her story here.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

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