Single mother dismissed from Air Force for keeping baby
Single mother Rebecca Edmonds, daughter of Captain Tony Edmonds was dismissed from the Air Force for becoming pregnant and keeping the baby. Air Force regulations state single parents cannot enlist in the Air Force.
Rebecca became pregnant before she knew of this regulation and an abortion was not an option for her. Having come from a military family, Edmonds felt being in the Air Force was a natural step for her, one of honor for both herself and her parents.
Rebecca Edmonds not only lost her ranking in the Air Force but her $92,000 college scholarship when she was dismissed. Her mother, Karen Edmonds strongly feels the Air Force is biased against single parents, particularly single mothers, going as far as to say the Air Force encourages single mothers to abort their babies if they want any semblance of a military career with them.
Karen comments in a CNN article:
“The Air Force is making an assumption that single parents cannot provide adequately for their children if deployed,” Edmonds’ mother said. “That’s what burns me up.”
Rebecca has since filed complaints against the Air Force for her dismissal, going as high as she can in the branches ranks in the hopes of fixing a bad situation. One response she received was from Colonel Kelly L. Goggins which stated:
“If Ms. Edmonds had reported her pregnancy she would have been placed on medical recheck status until she gave birth. At that time she would have been able to commission if she were not a single parent, for example, if she were married, or had given the child up for adoption.”
As a cadet preparing for commission into the Air Force, individuals are required to attend counseling sessions. Rebecca recalls her final counseling session in which the officer stated:
“He just says, ‘I don’t know what would happen to a cadet if she were to become pregnant. But I don’t think it would be good. So just don’t get pregnant,’ ”
“He said that word for word to me. At that point, I thought, ‘OK, I don’t think I have to tell anybody this. I’m scared now.’ “
How do you feel about the Air Force’s decision? Do you think they are right in now allowing single parents such as Rebecca Edmonds to serve in the military? What do you think should happen in Rebecca’s dismissal case?