A coalition of Republican senators is taking a stand against requiring women to register for a draft, saying in a proposed resolution the concept would harm military readiness.
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and five other GOP senators introduced the resolution on August 5 after a Democratic-controlled committee passed an amendment that would force women to register with Selective Service, making them eligible to be drafted into war. Under current law, only men must register with the Selective Service System upon reaching the age of 18. Selective Service keeps a list of all men ages 18-25 eligible for the draft.
Supporters have dubbed it the “Don’t Draft Our Daughters” Resolution.
“Forcing our daughters into the draft creates a burdensome and disproportionately increased risk of injury and fatalities for our nation’s women, as readiness data shows,” Lee said in a statement. “This policy change is rushed and unnecessary in our current time of peace, and unduly harms women more than advancing any notion of equality. While American women should be empowered to serve in our Armed Forces, they should not be forced to fight.”
The resolution is non-binding but would put senators’ positions on record. It notes that the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1981, upheld the all-male requirement. Much of the resolution focuses on the physical differences between men and women.
“Only a small subset of women are able to meet the physical fitness requirements for combat roles, and physical disadvantages between men and women often result in excessive fatigue and more frequent injuries to women,” the resolution says.
Army data has found a fail rate between 65 percent and 84 percent for women and between 10 percent and 30 percent for men “on the Army Combat Fitness Test,” the resolution says.
“Mandating the registration of women for Selective Service System has the potential to unduly increase the fatality and injury risks of women in the United States and hinder combat unit readiness in battle,” it says.
James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Roger Wicker (Miss.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) also are sponsoring the resolution.
Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, applauded the senators for introducing the resolution.
“Concerned Women for America has always stood for the inherent dignity of women and against the wrong-headed and destructive lie that women’s equality means being the same as men,” Nance said. “Today, the Left has erased women entirely, declaring any male can claim our status, compete in our sports, and have access to our locker rooms, dorm rooms, shelters, and prisons. Now they want to force our daughters on the frontlines of war. That’s not equality; that’s insanity. American women are free to serve and proud to serve, but they shouldn’t be forced to serve.
“... God-given distinctions between the sexes,” Nance added, “have everything to do with military readiness in wartime.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.