FROM Anna Mulrine
Women on the Front Lines About 16 percent of America's military is now composed of women. In Iraq, more than 130 have been killed, more than 800 wounded. Since World War II, two women have won Silver Stars — one by clearing insurgents from two trenches with hand grenades and killing three more with her M4 rifle. But she was a military police officer acting in an emergency. America's female soldiers served on the front lines in Iraq, and they're doing the same thing in Afghanistan. No American women are assigned to combat. Anne Coughlin has filed a lawsuit to challenge that. A professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, she and some students started the Molly Pitcher Project. We hear about a dispute that's raging from the courts to the Pentagon to the Halls of Congress.
Should Women Soldiers Be Assigned to Combat? During the Iraq war, an Army medic ran through gunfire to rescue wounded comrades, earning a Silver Star. But one rescued man said she should never even have been there. The medic was a woman, even though women are never assigned to combat. They're getting closer and closer, and there's a budding movement to make them eligible for all things men do, if they can meet the qualifying standards. But that's hugely controversial. Is it just about equality under the law? Is it a cultural issue, deeply ingrained despite the guarantees of the Constitution?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?