Female troops told 'carry condoms'
Published 16/05/2010 | 18:06
Female soldiers have been warned to carry condoms while on the frontline after more than 100 British servicewomen discovered they were pregnant in Iraq and Afghanistan during a six-year period, it was revealed.
Adverts published in the Army's official magazine Soldier urge female staff to use protection or risk "facing something you really don't want to hear".
A series of chat-up lines are displayed above a row of red lipsticks with text warning that "on deployment, there'll be 50 blokes to each woman".
The Ministry of Defence said it did "not encourage" sexual relationships in theatre.
Expectant mothers are not allowed to serve on the frontline, according to Army rules, so female soldiers are flown home if they fall pregnant.
Figures released in response to a Freedom of Information request showed that between January 2003 and February 2009, at least 102 British servicewomen were sent home from Iraq because they were expecting babies.
In Afghanistan the figure was 31 for the same period.
There are currently around 8,500 British troops at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, including 700 women.
Tory MP Patrick Mercer told a newspaper unwanted pregnancies were "incredibly expensive for the Army".
"One has to wonder why this sort of advertisement has only been used now," he said.