Pregnant Woman Makes It to Evacuation Flight From Afghanistan, Gives Birth Onboard

A pregnant Afghan woman managed to make it to an evacuation flight from Kabul's international airport and gave birth aboard a military plane hours later.

The U.S. military is working to rapidly evacuate thousands of Afghans who worked with Americans and NATO allies during the past two decades of war as the Taliban has now retaken control of the country. President Joe Biden's administration has faced substantial criticism and political pressure—from Republicans and Democrats alike—to swiftly evacuate the Afghan nationals amid concerns they could face reprisals and death now that the Taliban has returned to power.

Air Mobility Command (AMC), a major command of the U.S. Air Force, posted about the incident involving the pregnant Afghan woman on its official Twitter account on Saturday. The Twitter thread explained that the woman went into labor while en route to Germany and faced complications.

Medical support personnel from the 86th Medical Group help an Afghan mother and family off a U.S. Air Force C-17, call sign Reach 828, moments after she delivered a child aboard the aircraft upon landing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 21. (cont..) pic.twitter.com/wqR9dFlW1o

— Air Mobility Command (@AirMobilityCmd) August 21, 2021

"Medical support personnel from the 86th Medical Group help an Afghan mother and family off a U.S. Air Force C-17, call sign Reach 828, moments after she delivered a child aboard the aircraft upon landing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 21," AMC wrote.

"During a flight from an Intermediate Staging Base in the Middle East, the mother went into labor and began having complications. The aircraft commander decided to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilize and save the mother's life," the command explained.

Upon landing, Airmen from the 86th MDG came aboard and delivered the child in the cargo bay of the aircraft. The baby girl and mother were transported to a nearby medical facility and are in good condition.

— Air Mobility Command (@AirMobilityCmd) August 21, 2021

The woman was aided by "Airmen from the 86th MDG" after the plane landed in Germany. They helped the mother successfully deliver the child "in the cargo bay of the aircraft."

"The baby girl and mother were transported to a nearby medical facility and are in good condition," AMC wrote.

Newsweek reached out to AMC for further comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Thousands of Afghans are attempting to board evacuation flights as they flee the Taliban. The Taliban have reportedly beaten some of those attempting to escape the country. There have been dramatic scenes of people handing babies over razor wire to U.S. soldiers at the airport, and people falling from airplanes as they attempted to cling to the landing gear during takeoff.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that at least 13 countries have agreed to temporarily host Afghan refugees amid the rapid evacuation currently underway.

"We are encouraged by other countries that are also considering providing support. We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas and to fulfill our commitments to citizens of partner nations and at-risk Afghans," Blinken said in a Friday statement.

The Biden administration was caught off guard by how swiftly the Taliban regained control of the country. As a result, the U.S. has been scrambling to quickly evacuate the refugees, as well as Americans who remain in Afghanistan. Although the Taliban has taken control of the vast majority of Afghanistan, the U.S. military has maintained temporary control of Kabul's international airport.

Afghans leave Afghanistan
A pregnant woman made it to an evacuation flight from Afghanistan and gave birth onboard hours later on Saturday. Above, Afghans sit inside a U.S. military aircraft set to leave an airport in Kabul on August 19 after the Taliban's military takeover of the country. SHAKIB RAHMANI/AFP via Getty Images

The peace deal leading to the U.S. withdrawal was signed between the administration of former President Donald Trump and the Taliban in February 2020. That agreement would have had all U.S. forces withdraw from the country by May 1. Biden extended the withdrawal deadline to September 11 after he took office. He then moved it forward to August 31, but the Taliban regained near total control of Afghanistan last Sunday—two weeks before that date.