Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney

Women in Combat Roles Fight for Access to the Pill

SUMMARY: Active female members of the US military make up 15% of all active-duty service members, and the unintended pregnancy rate is 50% higher than their civilian counterparts. Dr Daniel Grossman, vice-president of research at Ibis Reproductive Health outlines that an unplanned pregnancy can be an obstacle to the career of a military woman. The US military has one of the most comprehensive health-care systems, Tricare, which covers most FDA approved contraceptives. However, the issue is more that contraceptive measures are simply not available to women while on active-duty. Both houses of congress are working on a bill that attempts to resolve the issue of contraception in the US military, which includes family planning education and counseling, and a provision of specific contraceptive for the entire duration of their deployment.

SOURCE: Michelle Andrews, August 11 2015, ‘Women in Combat Zones can have Trouble Getting Contraceptives,’ NPR,

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