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Pregnant on the Front Lines

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Reporter Elizabeth Rubin hid her pregnancy so she could cover the war in Afghanistan. And she lived to tell the tale.

elizabeth rubin

Elizabeth Rubin was more than three months pregnant when she flew to Afghanistan to cover the war. Her doctor advised her against going, because he was worried that she wouldn't be able to run when she needed to. "I told him, 'I just came for a prescription,'" Rubin says. "If I wanted someone to tell me not to go to Afghanistan, I could have called my mother."

Being pregnant in a war zone was no picnic. Rubin climbed and fell down mountains, dodged bullets, peed on the floors of bombed-out homes and got fleas. Soldiers and civilians died right in front of her eyes. Her platoon was ambushed -- and she did have to run for her life. At six months pregnant, she contracted an Afghan illness and could no longer feel her baby. When a sonogram showed that her baby was indeed alive and well in her womb, Rubin knew it was time to come home.

She shares her story with the Guardian.

Do you think it was brave to cover the war while pregnant -- or selfish? (Or maybe a little bit of both ...?)


next: Inside Mrs. Kevin Costner's Baby Shower
13 comments so far | Post a comment now
Alexis April 12, 2010, 3:51 PM

This women was clearly out for her own career. The buzz of this story when she comes back to the states? She’d be a star! If she had gotten pregnant over in Afghanistan, I can understand. But the simple fact is that she took on an unreasonable amount of risk to claim that she cared for her own safety and that of the baby. In our society, we believe that pregnant women should be kept out of warfare. I have a personal theory that the evolution of linea negra is actually a way of distinguishing the pregnant from the malnourished and diseased. It evolved because we have an interest in our species continuing, so attacking the clearly pregnant woman is ridiculous.

I hope the media does the right thing and gives this selfish, bratty woman no attention.

Traci April 12, 2010, 4:23 PM

Who am I (or you?) to tell this woman what she can and can’t do? “Land of the free, home of the brave” is our slogan I believe….does that not apply to women or just pregnant women?

Wendi April 12, 2010, 4:51 PM

She is stupid and selfish. When you are pregnant you are making decisions for someone elses life and what right do you have to put them in danger. I hope when she has that baby she is a better mother.

Black Iris April 12, 2010, 5:33 PM

Stupid and not ready to be a mother. In her defense, she’s probably feels terrible now. And our society tends to tell women they can do anything when pregnant which is not true.

Gail Cooke April 12, 2010, 5:50 PM

I think she’s selfish…risking her child’s life. What if she had been shot or killed? Nice to know she loves her child..maybe she should give it up for adoption as she obviously doesn’t care about the health and welfare of her child. And clearly doesn’t give a damn about anyone else to boot.

Cheree April 12, 2010, 7:34 PM

In a country where we legally allow a mother to end the life of an unborn baby, we have absolutely no business telling any pregnant woman what they should or shouldn’t do while pregnant.

Kim @ Beautiful Wreck April 12, 2010, 8:09 PM

I think she was selfish and was more interested in her career than the health of her unborn child, but whom am I to tell her what to do. People do stupid and selfish things while pregnant all the time. We can just add her to that list of people.

Herbody April 12, 2010, 8:55 PM

Its her body and her baby. What was she supposed to do at 3 months pregnant? Sit at home and watch tv all day? No, live your life. Go you.

smithevne April 12, 2010, 10:57 PM

O.K., I just adopted what I believe to be a pregnant *****. I know how to help deliver pups, and I’m going to take her to the vet. However, I want to know if there is anyway of looking at a dog (not feeling her tummy) and being able to come up with a ruff estimate of how many puppies she’ll have. Yes, the vet will tell me, but I want more creative answers than that. (she’s a boxer).

SS April 13, 2010, 8:23 AM

She gave up the right to do as she pleased when she chose to keep that pregnancy. No one’s saying she had to sit at home and watch t.v. but to go to a WAR ZONE WHERE PEOPLE ARE BEING MANGLED AND KILLED while trying to grow a baby in your body is beyond negligent and stupid.

Herbody April 13, 2010, 11:36 AM

Its her choice not yours. She’s a reporter not a soldier. I applaud her for not being a weak woman. Nothing worse than a weak woman.

s April 13, 2010, 11:46 AM

I believe yes she was doing her job. On the other hand she should think about her unborn child. I would never go anywhere that would harm my child. Work comes second and family is first. That is just how I feel. I am glad that she had the since to come back home after a while but the only reason she did was because she didn’t feel her baby. How much longer would she would be there and but her child in danger just for work. But all in all I hope everything is well with her and her unborn child.

Rabbit May 3, 2010, 2:38 PM

That was beyond dumb and that child should be taken from her bc obviously she does not have maternal instincts. I mean was she trying to have a free abortion or something.


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