The U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services has approved a draft of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2025 requiring women to register for Selective Service.

On June 14, 2024, the committee voted 22-3 to advance the NDAA, sending the bill to the Senate floor for consideration.

The committee has 12 Republican members and 13 Democrat members, meaning the proposal to draft women received overwhelming bipartisan support from the committee members.

Committee Chairman U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D) indicated that he voted against the bill because “it includes a funding increase that cannot be appropriated without breaking lawful spending caps and causing unintended harm to our military.” It’s unclear which other senators voted against the bill’s passage out of committee.

The NDAA is considered “must pass” legislation every year; it appropriates funds for the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy and several other related activities. The NDAA for FY 2024 spent $883.7 billion, while the Senate committee’s recently approved draft of the NDAA allocates $923.3 billion to be spent for FY 2025.

The provision to force women to register for the draft is included as a part of one of the “major highlights” of the bill, as summarized by the Armed Services Committee.

This is not the first time Congress has considered legislation to draft women. In fact, the “drafting our daughters” provision was incorporated in early versions of the NDAAs for FY 2022 and FY 2023. The provision was dropped both times as a part of a compromise to gain enough support for the bills to pass.

The inclusion of the proposal in the NDAA for FY 2025 has sparked immediate and fierce opposition.

“There is no scenario where my daughters will register for the draft,” said Andrew T. Walker, Ethics & Public Theology Professor at Southern Seminary, adding,

That simply will never happen and every father of daughters in America should risk their lives and jail time to protect their daughters from what is a man’s duty. The androgynists at the Pentagon need to wake up.

Conservative U.S. Representative Chip Roy posted his thoughts about the proposal on X: “Over my dead body.”

Likewise, U.S. Senator Mike Lee posted on X, “We. Will. Not. Draft. Women. I’m with @ChipRoyTX – this will happen over my dead body.”

Children’s rights advocate Katy Faust said, “Blurring the lines between male and female means women and children lose 100% of the time.” She sarcastically quipped, “[This bill is] exhibit 527.”

The independent, non-partisan public policy organization Center for Military Readiness has prepared a two-page summary explaining why drafting women is a bad idea. Some of those 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.
  • After unofficial pass/fail records of 3,206 soldiers in 11 battalions performing the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) 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.
  • Some exceptional women may be able to meet minimal standards, but extensive research has shown that most women cannot meet combat arms standards while most men can.

Congress must pass the NDAA before the end of the calendar year. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its own version of the bill on June 14, 2024, in a 217-199 vote. After the Senate passes its version of the bill, the two bills will be reconciled by a bicameral conference. The final version of the bill will need to be approved by both chambers before being sent to the president’s desk.

Focus on the Family has long opposed the forcible conscription of women. It’s unjust to force America’s women to serve in combat roles during times of war.

Consider contacting your state senators to let them know you opposed requiring women to register for the draft.

Related articles and resources:

Senate Committee (Again) Votes to Force Women to Register for Draft

In ‘Stunning Turnaround,’ Proposal to Draft Women Removed from Defense Bill

Senator Hawley Will Introduce Amendment to Stop Forcible Conscription of Women

Senators Propose Requiring Women to Register for Military Draft

Drafting Our Daughters? U.S. Commission Recommends Women Be Forcefully Conscripted

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