A proposal to require women to register for the draft has been removed from the defense bill currently being considered by the U.S. Senate.
The removal of the provision has been described as a “stunning turnaround,” since the proposal had received substantial bipartisan support.
Following a recommendation in 2020 by a congressionally enacted commission to extend the draft to women, the Senate Armed Services Committee included the following provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA): “[amend] the Military Selective Service Act to require the registration of women for Selective Service.”
The provision received bipartisan support, with all of the committee’s Democrat members and a majority of the Republican members voting in favor of the amendment; of the 26 committee members, only 5 Republicans voted against the proposal.
Now, according to Politico, leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees removed the provision so that “Republicans would accept reforms to the military justice system.”
Senator Josh Hawley, in a statement on December 6, said, “It appears the NDAA will no longer require women to register for the military draft.”
“I certainly hope that is the case. If it is not, then I will keep fighting for a vote on the Senate floor to strip this wrong and misguided provision out of the final bill,” he added.
Last month, Sen. Hawley introduced an amendment to the NDAA to remove the proposal to draft women.
Additionally, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, celebrated the removal in a press release.
“The NDAA provision which forced women to register for the draft was never about improving military readiness. Instead, it passed through committee under the misplaced guise of ‘equality,’ imposing a woke ideology on our troops rather than meeting the current needs of our military,” Hartzler said.
“Women are not chess pieces in a political game. They are doctors, lawyers, engineers, and already valuable members of our all-volunteer force. I applaud the removal of this unnecessary provision.”
Focus on the Family opposes the involuntary conscription of women.
The independent, non-partisan organization Center For Military Readiness prepared a 2-page summary of reasons why women should not be forced to register for the draft. Some of the reasons include:
- “According to three years of scientific research done by the Marine Corps, major gender-related differences exist in physical strength, speed, and endurance. In field tests, all-male units with average-ability men outperformed mixed-gender teams with highly qualified women in 69% of evaluated tasks, including hiking under load.”
- “After unofficial pass/fail records of 3,206 soldiers in 11 battalions performing the Army Combat Fitness Test resulted in an 84% failure rate among female trainees and 30% among the men, the Army attempted several adjustments in test requirements and scoring systems.”
- “The purpose of conscription is not to induct support troops or persons with special skills, such as medical or cyber. Selective Service is and should remain a system for rapidly replacing casualties fallen in battle to fight during a nation-threatening war.”
Women who decide to volunteer and serve our nation should be commended. But to force unwilling women to serve in combat roles during a time of war is not wise nor moral. Thankfully, that proposal has been defeated. For now.
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