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AND Calls on DoD to Open All Military Units to Women, Grant Parental Leave to Service Members
Date:2/17/2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Alliance for National Defense (AND) issued position papers urging the Department of Defense to update or eliminate rules excluding servicewomen from direct ground combat and to institute family-friendly parental leave policies.

The alliance is a non-profit organization providing powerful advocacy and a positive voice for military women. AND encourages and promotes the vital role of military women in our nation's defense. AND directors, national council members and supporters include active duty military personnel and concerned veterans working alongside civilians interested in military issues to provide factual, thoughtful, objective information on military personnel issues to policymakers, legislators and the public.

On the hot button issue of women in combat, the AND paper notes:

"Women are in combat... They serve in Afghanistan and Iraq with pride and honor. In both war zones, many of the distinctions regarding combat have blurred because there are no front lines...the battlefield... is asymmetrical."

Concluding that in the era of asymmetrical warfare "current doctrine and policy concerning the assignment of military women have outlived past usefulness," the Alliance calls on the DoD to revise or eliminate rules "to reflect actual practices."

The second paper, Pregnancy and Military Operations, urges a balanced, reality-based approach to service member's pregnancies.

Noting that -- according to U.S. Navy Work Loss Studies -- "pregnant military women lose less work time than military men who lose more time due to sports injuries and disciplinary reasons," the Alliance calls for stepped-up "training on pregnancy prevention, STD prevention, responsible sexual behavior, meeting one's obligations to the military" and access to quality birth control at service medical facilities

Recognizing that the vast majority of American service women are in their prime child bearing years, AND also calls on the services to educate both men and women on their responsibilities as potential parents, provide pre-natal care at all medical facilities and consider allowing a break in service for parental leave so women can plan pregnancies around both the military's needs and their own.

Both papers along with an earlier letter to President Obama's transition team urging revitalization of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS), measures to eliminate sexual assault and improved access to reproductive healthcare are available at in their entirety at http://www.4militarywomen.org.


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SOURCE Alliance for National Defense
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