G.I. Jane: Defense Bill Expands Draft to Women

Congress is one step away from adding women to the military draft for the first time. A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would require women to register with the Selective Service upon turning 18, as men have been required to do for decades. The NDAA already passed the House and cleared a Senate committee last summer. Now, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says the full Senate could take up the NDAA within a week.

Conservative groups and some Republican lawmakers, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Congressmen Chip Roy and Dan Crenshaw, are trying to get the draft provision stripped from the NDAA. They argue it is unnecessary, unfair and dangerous to forcibly draft women from the general population into combat roles.

The Family Research Council (FRC) is among the groups fighting the draft mandate. "Women are able to serve in virtually any (military) role for which they qualify now, on a voluntary basis," says Quena Gonzalez, FRC Director of Government Affairs. "So this really isn't about equality, it really is about making a massive social change."

Gonzalez warns that social engineering in the military like this is dangerous for America. "There are those who would like to ignore the biological differences between men and women," he tells KTRH. "But studies show that fewer women than men can, on average, meet the physical demands of the military positions the draft is generally used to fill."

"That would leave America defended, potentially in wartime, by women conscripted out of the general population ahead of able-bodied men," he continues.

If the change passes, it would be largely symbolic, as the U.S. hasn't had a military draft in 50 years. But the continued existence of the Selective Service means the possibility still exists of a draft, however remotely. Opponents argue this is simply a bad idea, whether in practice or theory. "It really is crunch time, the Senate must remove this provision from the defense bill," says Gonzalez. "And it is very, very important that people speak up and make their voices heard."

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