Military Cadets may have one less thing to worry about as they head back to school this upcoming fall. If they become parents unexpectedly, they will no longer have to make the decision between aborting the child and dropping out. This new policy is expected within the coming months, which will allow cadets and midshipmen at West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy to finish their degrees and earn their commission while holding guardianship of their children.
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Previously, cadets and midshipmen had three choices: abort a pregnancy, sign away parental rights or drop out of the academy altogether, which also meant paying back the cost of their education if they had made it to their junior years and signed their service obligation contracts.
The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act gave the Defense Department a year to implement the new policy, but it’s running months behind the Dec. 27, 2022, deadline.
The finalized policy, which the military departments review three separate times during the development process, is expected in April or May, Dietz said. The policy dates back to the Candidates Afforded Dignity, Equality and Training Act of 2021, or CADET Act, which a bipartisan group of senators first introduced in July of that year.
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said,
“Under our current system, cadets who become pregnant must either sign away the rights to their child, get an abortion, pay devastating financial responsibilities, or leave the academy altogether… this policy is unfair, antiquated, and unacceptable.”
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This is 100% true, this will keep families together, potentially save lives, and give cadets the opportunity to continue their education and path into the military.
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