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Draft Women, Says House Armed Service Committee

While the Texas Taliban and theocrat-stacked Supreme Court lead the charge in undermining women’s equal citizenship, the House Armed Services Committee has included one nod toward women’s equality in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act. The military bill includes a provision that would require women to register for the draft:

During late night deliberations on the committee’s annual defense policy bill, lawmakers voted 35-24 to adopt an amendment from Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.) to expand registration for the Selective Service System beyond men.

…Several Republicans broke ranks to help Democrats to adopt the amendment.

Calls to broaden the pool for a potential draft to all Americans, not just men, have grown as the Pentagon opened all military combat roles to women in 2015. Advocates of the change also contend the current system is discriminatory.

“It’s past time,” said Houlahan, an Air Force veteran. “Women make up over 50 percent of our population, and not including them in the Selective Service is not only a disservice to these women, but also to our nation as a whole.”

If the provision remains in the defense bill and passes on the House floor, the change has a high chance of becoming law. The Senate Armed Services Committee adopted a similar provision in its defense bill, which awaits a floor vote [Connor O’Brien, “House Panel Backs Requiring Women to Register for the Draft,” Politico, 2021.09.01].

The ACLU supports including women in the draft. So, now, does Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who said when she ran for Congress in 2016 that she opposed requiring women to register with the Selective Service.

Of course, some people oppose the whole notion of forcing anyone to sign up for military service:

“Far from advancing equity, this move expands the harms of the Selective Service to women without proper Congressional or public debate,” Mac Hamilton, advocacy director for Women’s Action for New Directions, said in a statement. “All roles in the U.S. military are open to both men and women who choose to pursue them and we continue to oppose any effort to impose military service on men or women” [Connor O’Brien and Paul McLeary, “House Democrats Needle Biden on Afghanistan Plans, Defense Spending,” Politico, 2021.09.02].

But that argument won’t go anywhere in Taliban America, since if we can force women to serve their country by carrying pregnancies to term, we can surely force them to carry rifles to war.


  1. Ryan 2021-09-03

    2 or 3 years of military service should be required for all young adults. I think it would build some real-world skills for folks, it would foster genuine patriotism rather than the phony crap we hear about nowadays, and it would reduce some of the attraction people have for forming “home brewed” militias and playing with their internet-purchased guns like they are tough guys haha

  2. Donald Pay 2021-09-03

    The draft should be abolished in total. Service to the nation, state or local community in a military or civilan role should be very much encouraged, but it should be voluntary. Only when the Congress has the courage to declare war, which it hasn’t done since after the Pearl Harbor attack, should there be a military draft.

  3. Dicta 2021-09-03

    2-3 years should be required? Heinleinian democracies are silly, Forced military service when it isn’t necessary isn’t patriotism.

  4. Richard Schriever 2021-09-03

    Donald – a permanent, professional military was the founders’ greatest fear – thus the 2nd amendment as the original bulwark of national defense. But of course, that shop has long since sailed, hasn’t it? Meanwhile a 2-3 year stint of national service (not necessarily in the military) is a great way to “equalize” our national consciousness across the socio/economic, gender, and ethnic spectrum.

  5. Eve Fisher 2021-09-03

    Fine with me. Israel’s been requiring both men and women to serve for decades.

  6. Dicta 2021-09-03

    I agree with the House Armed Services Committee too, btw. The public consciousness has changed, and we are recognizing that woman will positively impact areas that used to be closed off to them. The Military is one of them. If, tragically, a draft becomes necessary again, we shouldn’t ignore half of the population.

  7. cibvet 2021-09-03

    We can’t force people to wear masks or get vaccinated to save lives, but we can force them to sign up for the draft to kill people. Of course, they can always claim heel spurs to avoid all if a war breaks out.

  8. Donald Pay 2021-09-03

    Richard, I absolutely agree that service of some kind is good for young people. My whole life was in service to a cause or to other people. I don’t like the idea of forced service, though I wouldn’t be opposed if doing a certain amount of hours of local community service was a high school graduation requirement or a college or technical school entrance requirement.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2021-09-03

    Well..I’ll cast my vote for two years of compulsory national service with the military being one option and a CCC type option to provide conservation projects, plus an Americorps-Vista option, health professions training option, and a program that focuses on urban youth Provide free post secondary education (at least two years), internships in business and industry, and support for young artists and writers. Get this country moving.

  10. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-09-03

    I agree with Arlo Blundt. I served as a Photo Interpreter in the volunteer Army, which made me eligible to be a drafting aid, which led to the lofty positions of cartographic aid and cartographic technician, which I parlayed into Visual Information Specialist in the Department of the Interior.

    I had no education after high school, and enlisted three months later. Seven months after my honorable discharge I was employed. People sneered at me (and still do) because I was a lazy f*cking federal leech. I did receive a post-secondary grant of $2470 from Colorado attended The PrintEd course at Warren Tech in Jefferson County, and worked at a pre-press business after that.

    My father joined the CCC and learned how to use mechanized equipment, carpentry, masonry and stone laying, electrical wiring, and how to turn trees into building lumber. THEN he enlisted into the Navy just in time to be in WWII. More OTJ education, and it served him well.

    Without a bit of false modesty I contend we were given these opportunities and made the best of them. I can only dream about internships and Americorps-Vista and health training options.

  11. Arlo+Blundt 2021-09-03

    well..I’m proud of you Bonnie B..hold your head high

  12. John 2021-09-04

    Thirty years overdue. Make them register. Make my granddaughters register. It will make them WOKE. It’ll make them better citizens through paying attention to the lying, self-serving military-congressional-media-industrial complex.

  13. Donald+Pay 2021-09-04

    No to young women having to register for the selective service system. No to more government waste. The Selective Service System is a joke. It’s an agency that has no purpose. I don’t have a clue what it does other than take the names of young men and stash them away in some computer file. We don’t and never will again draft anyone to service in the armed forces. Abolish it. It’s a waste. We have a voluntary armed forces that is now dependent on specialized technology to a much greater degree than in the past. That kind of armed forces can’t work with a bunch of kids who don’t want to be there.

  14. Jake 2021-09-04

    Amen, Arlo and John! We need to ‘force’ the idea of community service into this culture of “it’s ALL about ME” that is so prevalent; and the country will have great rewards for it. No exemptions for “bone-spurs” either. as there really are few physical ailments that would prohibit some sort of service to the community at large, helping that individual become a better member of society.

  15. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-09-04

    Regarding my above comment, paragraph two. I trace the enduring loathing of federal employees to an incompletely and maliciously quoted phrase by Ronnie Raygun upon his inauguration on 1-20-1981. “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, it is the problem.”

    Which, of course, became “government is the problem.” Saint Ronnie was already demented at this point and his speech writer (Peggy Noonan?) undoubtedly wrote it.

    When people asked me “what I did” in the 80s and 90s, I was sorely tempted to tell them I blew dogs.

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