BAGHDAD, June 16 (UPI) -- Military observers are questioning why U.S. Central Command is not tracking the number of pregnant soldiers leaving Iraq, the Washington Times reported.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said she repeatedly asked the Pentagon to compile the statistics for the current war, but was rebuffed. She finally filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act in April.
"It's a factor that you can't ignore," said Donnelly "The answer I'm getting now is, 'We have not captured that information.' If that's true, it's irresponsible."
There are now 255,000 soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan, of whom 28,142, or 11 percent, are women.
Pregnancies can be embarrassing to the military. In May 2003, the Marine Corps was forced to bring a Marine back home after she gave birth on a Navy warship in the Persian Gulf. She told superiors she did not know she was pregnant.
During the 1991 Persian Gulf war, the press branded the USS Acadia the "Love Boat" after 36 sailors -- 10 percent of the women aboard -- became pregnant while deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm.