At least 133 female British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been sent home after they were found pregnant during operations in those countries.
Daily Star Sunday has revealed that between January 1, 2003 and February 28, 2009 at least 102 British servicewomen posted in Iraq front line have been sent home due to pregnancy. For the same reason, 31 of British soldiers in Afghanistan have been told to go home, the report added.
These shocking numbers have been handed over by the Ministry of Defense after a Freedom of Information request by the Daily Star Sunday. The Ministry of Defense is reportedly suspecting that there might be even more cases of pregnancy which have not been reported so far. Notably, up to now a total of 5,600 female British soldiers have been sent to war.
According to rules of British army pregnant women are not allowed to go to war. They also cannot go sea in the Royal Navy. The report says although some soldiers got pregnant before leaving Britain, but others would have conceived while on their mid-tour two-week rest and recuperation break, which is considered as violation of military rules. The soldiers involved in sex during war could face misconduct charges if it caused a drop in military efficiency.
Some observers reportedly think sex on tour cannot be stopped. Charles Heyman, editor of the British Army Guide, said: “The average age on operations will be between 21 and 23 and at that age there will be lapses.”
Presently, 17,620 women are working in the British forces which make up 9.4 per cent of the total. As of now women are banned from infantry units and any role where they would “close with and kill the enemy” – as well as from submarines and several diver roles.
A Military of Defense spokesman said all soldiers are expected to abide by the Armed Forces Code of Conduct. He said: “If women become or discover they are pregnant on operations they are returned to the UK at the first opportunity for their own well being and to preserve effectiveness.”