Wednesday, July 8, 2020

This Isn't Gonna Help McSally Win Over Female Voters: US Senator Once Said Women in Military Get Pregnant To Avoid Their Responsibilities to the Country

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2020 at 3:44 PM

It's safe to say that appointed U.S. Sen. Martha McSally has some work to do to win over the same female voters that President Donald Trump is driving into Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden's camp.

A few weeks before McSally lost her 2018 Senate bid to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, an NBC/Marist polls showed women favored Sinema by a 13 percentage point margin. That gap isn't looking any better this year, as McSally—who was appointed the Senate by Gov. Doug Ducey to complete the late John McCain's term after her 2018 loss—faces Democrat Mark Kelly. An early June New York Times/Sienna College poll showed women favored Kelly by a staggering 22 percentage points.

Salon today surfaced a 2007 paper that McSally wrote during her time pursuing a graduate degree in which she suggested that women in the military get pregnant—or, as she put, embrace the "foolishness of a lifetime commitment (motherhood)"—as a way to shirk their military responsibilities.

Arizona Republican senator and former Air Force combat pilot Martha McSally once published an academic paper in which she said military servicewomen should be counseled against the "foolishness of entering into a lifetime commitment (motherhood)" to avoid deployment, and called for the Pentagon to repeal the policy that allows women to use pregnancy as an excuse to "skirt" their commitment.

The article, titled "Women in Combat: Is the Current Policy Obsolete?" appeared in a 2007 edition of the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy. At the time, McSally, the first female combat pilot in U.S. history — and the first-ever losing Senate candidate to immediately receive a Senate seat — was pursuing a second graduate degree at Air War College.

She later expanded on the article in a lecture at the Duke University School of Law, which hosts a full video on its website.
The Salon article further notes:

In the article, the former squadron commander calls for a cultural shift to teach servicewomen that it is "not appropriate" to have a child just because they want to.

"The military must foster a culture in which military women understand that it is not appropriate to get pregnant whenever they desire," she writes. "Instead, women need to realize their duties take precedence. They must take measures to prevent unplanned pregnancies and plan for pregnancies to occur only when they are in non-deployable situations." She does not elaborate on what those measures might include, and later rules out abortion as an acceptable option.

McSally goes on to explain that the primary "issue" with her proposal is that senior officials would have trouble saying with certainty exactly what a woman's "intent" was behind her pregnancy.
Read the whole thing here.

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