A U.S. Senate committee has approved language in its annual defense policy bill that would require women to register for the draft.
If the legislation is enacted, It’d be the first time in history that young women would be drafted alongside men in the rare event of a war or national emergency.
The United States has not instituted a draft since the Vietnam War, during which nearly 2 million men were drafted.
Congress has been considering requiring women to register for the draft since 2016 when all combat jobs were opened to female service members.
Here’s more from ABC7:
A U.S. Senate committee has approved legislation that would, if enacted, require young women to register for Selective Service alongside men, and in the rare event of a war or other national emergency, be drafted for the first time in the nation's history. … The new legislation, authored by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed, D-R.I., would remove any reference to "male" in current law, leaving women on an equal playing field.
The decision to make women register for the draft is not going over well with everyone.
Committee member Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) stated online, "American women have heroically served in and alongside our fighting forces since our nation's founding - It's one thing to allow American women to choose this service, but it's quite another to force it upon our daughters, sisters, and wives. Missourians feel strongly that compelling women to fight our wars is wrong and so do I."
For years Congress shot down the idea of mandatory draft registration for women, but it appears times are changing. The Senate Armed Services Committee passed the legislation 23-2 last week.
If the legislation survives and the new law is enacted, the changes would officially go into effect one year later.