Women may not have to register for the selective service, aka the draft. A recent provision in the annual defense authorization bill would have forced women to register for the involuntary draft. However, On Monday, Republican lawmakers of the House Rules Committee successfully stripped the wording from the bill that required women to register.
The provision was first introduced last month by Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. Hunter originally introduced the provision to highlight the flaws in the Pentagon’s plan to integrate women into combat roles in the military. It was expected to be a major point of debate this week but lawmakers were able to sidestep the issue by voting to strike that part of the provision from the bill.
The current law requires only men, ages 18-26, to register for the draft. Women have historically been exempt from the selective service based on the fact they were prohibited from serving in combat roles. The Defense Department recently announced that it would being integrating women into combat roles. Therefore if women have equal roles for true equality they should also be required to register for the draft.
The decision has lawmakers divided.
Many Republicans have been fighting to reverse the ruling that allows women to serve in combat roles while many Democrats have supported the ruling in the name of equality.
Scientifically, women are not as strong as men and therefore the military does not want to jeopardize standards by having to lower physical training standards for women – which can then jeopardize the entire unit. Women are also extremely prone to rape when captured by the enemy during combat.
This issue at hand is not what is best for the military, but more about political correctness and special-interest driven agendas.
Republicans introduced the selective service provision as a form of protest against women in combat roles because they feel it will lead to a decline in overall quality of our military.
Many women’s rights advocates and some military officials passionately support a woman’s right to serve in combat roles and feel slighted by removing the provision from the bill. House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith, D-Wash. is calling the act of striking the provision form the bill “cowardly” and claims Republicans are avoiding the issue. He said:
“This is a dead-of-night attempt to take an important issue off the table, and I think people will probably see through this tactic,”
Many Republican lawmakers argue that striking the provision from the bill is not an attack on women’s rights but a way to preserve the integrity of our armed forces. The decision to integrate women into combat roles has lead to a decline the standards required for some military roles.
The Marine Corps recently lowered its fitness standards to allow more women to pass. Data collected in 2013 shows that 55% of female recruits couldn’t meet the minimum requirement of chin-ups needed for the Marine Personal Fitness Test. As a result a provision was passed that allowed women to forgo the chin-up test completely and opt for an easier “flexed arm hang” test to qualify. Many Republican lawmakers feel that this will lead to a slippery slope of decreased standards.
While the provision to have women register for the draft has been stricken from the House Rules Committee the Senate Armed Services Committee has included the provision in it’s own initial version of the bill. This means that the issue may come up again for debate before a final draft of the annual defense authorization bill is completed. If it does it will be discussed privately rather than during a public debate, which is what was planned for this week before Republican lawmakers removed the wording.