At the lower levels, military policy is necessary given the grim reality in which the Defense Department currently finds itself. There is a significant problem with sexual assault that appears to be getting worse. There are also major problems with recruitment and 30 percent of 16 to 24 year olds expressly cite fear of sexual assault as a reason for their disinterest in military service. Almost one in five military personnel is female. Not recruiting women would likely exacerbate the existing labor shortage.
Giving in to Tuberville’s demands would cause significant problems for the military. What happens if a female soldier is raped, becomes pregnant and is denied permission to terminate the pregnancy by her superior? Or is she so young that she can’t afford to seek care elsewhere? What happens when these stories reach the media? Also, what happens if complications arise from a wanted pregnancy that needs to be terminated after six weeks (e.g. ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, or otherwise non-viable pregnancy)? Again, what we see in red states is that women are at death’s door and have to bleed to death in their car in the hospital parking lot before the hospital’s lawyers allow the doctors to act. It will happen, and when it does, it will be a nightmare for the Defense Department in terms of recruiting and public perception of the institution.
It could also lead to significant recruiting problems, as it was the only way the Pentagon could avert the worst effects of its recruiting difficulties. After a few high-profile cases, which female soldier will willingly accept orders in a state where rape has the potential to be a death sentence? Or where she is faced with the possibility of choosing between a court-martial for being absent to seek medical attention or being forced to carry her rapist’s child? Another common scenario in the military is that people are given the choice to either stay home and take new orders or simply get out. It is likely that in the event of a Tuberville victory, women would be given the choice of accepting orders to Fort Bliss or leaving the service, and would increasingly choose the latter.
Source : newrepublic.com