A group of nine Republican senators have introduced an amendment to the fiscal year 2023 (FY 23) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) removing language that would require women to register for the draft.
The “Don’t Draft our Daughters” amendment has at its purpose “to strike language extending the draft to women.” If the langue is not removed, women will soon be required to register for the Selective Service System.
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley has led the effort to remove the language, while the amendment’s eight cosponsors include Sens. Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Roger Marshall, Steve Daines, John Boozman and James Lankford.
“Forcing our daughters, mothers, wives and sisters to fight our wars is wrong. We should celebrate the women who have volunteered to serve our country and thank the women who played a vital role in defending America at every point in our nation’s history,” Sen. Hawley said in a press release.
“But volunteering is different than being forced to serve, and that’s why it was removed from last year’s NDAA. I hope my colleagues join us again to ensure we don’t change our laws to require women in this country to register for the draft.”
Senator Ted Cruz also issued a statement, saying, “As a proud father of two daughters, the prospect of the government forcing women into military service is outrageous. American women are capable of achieving anything they set their minds to, but they should not be compelled against their will to fight in our wars.”
Last year, a bipartisan group of senators had supported a proposal to require women to register for the draft. The idea looked like it was going to become law, until it was removed from the FY 22 NDAA at the last minute so that “Republicans would accept reforms to the military justice system.”
But like so many bad government proposals, the idea to forcibly conscript women was only defeated temporarily, and again made it into the text of the FY 23 NDAA.
Earlier this year, a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee voted to force women to register for the draft. Of the 26 members of the committee, only six Republican members voted no on the proposal, including Sens. Inhofe, Rounds, Cotton, Hawley, Cramer and Wicker.
The FY23 NDAA then passed the U.S. House of Representatives on July 14 in a vote of 329-101 and is now being considered by the Senate.
In general, lawmakers try to pass the NDAA each year prior to the close of the calendar year. This means that the effort to ensure women aren’t forced to register for the draft against their will is running out of time.
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 the 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.
As a ministry that is profoundly concerned with parenting issues, Focus on the Family has long opposed the forced conscription of women.
Women who choose to serve our country in our nation’s military should be commended and honored. But it’s unjust to force our nation’s women to fight against other countries’ men.
Photo from Shutterstock.