“[Last] month, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, voiced his support for allowing women on submarines, and now he’s facing a challenge from a group eager to keep women off the boats that stay some six months under the ocean’s surface,” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column at www.usnews.com.
“The Center for Militar y Readiness says that there is a bigger issue at stake: Bad air on subs — not the proximity to nuclear materials — could cause birth defects for women sailors’ children. ‘The problem is not nuclear power, it is the air, which is constantly recycled in the undersea environment. Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide levels in the air are safe for adults but a high-risk cause of birth defects in unborn children — particularly in the early weeks of gestation when a woman may not even know she is pregnant,’ CMR’s Elaine Donnelly said in a statement [on Sept. 28].
“ ‘By thoughtlessly pushing for co-ed submarines, apparently to please military and civilian feminists, Admiral Mullen has demonstrated an appalling unawareness of the health hazards involved, and a callous disregard for quality-oflife hardships that are difficult enough for sailors in the Silent Service.’ “
Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@ washingtontimes.com.