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Author Topic: Peace Corps Pregnancy Policy revised - opinions?  (Read 3983 times)

Offline the boss

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Peace Corps Pregnancy Policy revised - opinions?
« on: December 21, 2013, 08:02:52 AM »
When I served in the peace corps, the medical officer gave our PST group the information on what happens if you are pregnant. 

If that happened back then, the Volunteer had a decision to make.  She could choose to have the baby, in which case the Peace Corps would medically separate the volunteer and pay for her pregnancy back in the states.   OR  The Volunteer could have an abortion and continue her service. 

If she chose to have an abortion, it would be done back in the states, but would have to be paid for by the Volunteer.

I have read a few articles about the new policy and am not sure I understand what the changes are.  It sounds like they are allowing the Volunteer to have the baby and continue her service.  I am not sure what other changes the new policy brings about. 

What do you all think about the new policy?  Do you think a female volunteer would be able to serve effectively if during her 24 months of service she went through 9 months of pregnancy and then had a newborn to take care of -- this in a developing nation without a lot of modern conveniences?

Offline shawn

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Re: Peace Corps Pregnancy Policy revised - opinions?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 05:24:04 AM »
From the Office of General Counsel and the Policy Committee:

"On November 27, 2013, the Acting Director approved and on December 2, 2013, the Peace Corps confirmed the rescission of MS 263 Volunteer Pregnancy. As a result, pregnancy will not be singled out as a medical condition subject to special rules. Instead, pregnancy will be accorded the level of professional attention and treatment that is appropriate to that condition pursuant to MS 262 Peace Corps Medical Services Program and other policies and technical guides applicable to Volunteer medical issues. Decisions on continued service for Volunteers who become pregnant will be made in accordance with the provisions on medical separation contained in MS 284 Early Termination of Service."


From my understanding of this, the current stopgap is that pregnancy will be treated solely as a medical issue, and the PCMOs have say over leave, termination, continuation, separation, etc. This will hold pretty much until Peace Corps can wrap up and send out new non-discriminatory policies to govern pregnancy-related issues (maternity leave, abortion coverage [although that one is not PC's call], etc).
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
NPCA Serving Volunteer Advisory Council

Offline cdillon8769

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Re: Peace Corps Pregnancy Policy revised - opinions?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 08:30:51 AM »
Personally, I think the old law was discrimination simply since men cannot biologically conceive children. I do not think policies, such as these should only be considered for only men and women. I must say that I am completely biased as I am female.
Caroline
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Offline koji

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Re: Peace Corps Pregnancy Policy revised - opinions?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 05:39:28 AM »
From the Office of General Counsel and the Policy Committee:

"On November 27, 2013, the Acting Director approved and on December 2, 2013, the Peace Corps confirmed the rescission of MS 263 Volunteer Pregnancy. As a result, pregnancy will not be singled out as a medical condition subject to special rules. Instead, pregnancy will be accorded the level of professional attention and treatment that is appropriate to that condition pursuant to MS 262 Peace Corps Medical Services Program and other policies and technical guides applicable to Volunteer medical issues. Decisions on continued service for Volunteers who become pregnant will be made in accordance with the provisions on medical separation contained in MS 284 Early Termination of Service."

Based on that wording I don't think it will actually change the experiences of volunteers much. Although pregnancy will not be treated as a special medical condition that requires separation, it will still be based on whether the Peace Corps can supply adequate medical coverage, and I think most posts do not have that ability, so the volunteer would still end up med-sep'd, just after a longer discussion. I still don't see any babies being born and raised in the Peace Corps. What I do see, is perhaps pregnant women at the end of their service being able to stay for longer, as opposed to just three or four months to possibly being able to stay until they are six or seven months along.

I always thought the rule was annoying and sexist, but after actually being pregnant in my host country (after COSing) I can see how it is really not possible for PC to accommodate. I do appreciate that it will be decided on an individual basis though, and not touted during training as a hard and fast rule to, "punish women," though.