Women in America may soon be required to register for the draft when they turn 18, the same as men are required to do, Axios reported.
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) introduced the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which the House of Representatives passed in September and which is expected to be passed by the Senate in the coming weeks. Rep. Houlahan stated that “women have constantly had to fight for a level playing field — and this change is a step in the right direction.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) told Axios, “so much of the trajectory for women in the armed services is based on what experience they’re able to accrue, particularly combat experience.”
The measure has bipartisan support. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has backed such a move for several years.
However, many Republican Congressmen oppose the move. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has introduced an amendment to remove the provision from the NDAA. Twelve Republican Senators support Hawley's amendment.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) wrote on Twitter: “Our military has welcomed women for decades and are stronger for it, but America’s daughters shouldn’t be drafted against their will.”
No US citizen has been drafted into the military since 1973. Instead the US relies on a volunteer army. However, males between the ages of 18-26 are still required to register for the draft.
Rep. Houlahan explained that in the event a crisis requires the drafting of US citizens into the military, not all draftees would be put into combat positions.
"We will need all kinds of skills," Houlahan said. "Cyber-related skills, as well as other sorts of skills that we don't necessarily currently think of when we think of the Selective Service."