Republicans Make Last-Ditch Effort To Halt Female Draft

Dems tuck mandatory draft for women into defense bill

Female Marine recruits / Getty Images
September 21, 2021

Republican lawmakers and activists are making a final stand to halt the 2022 defense bill's inclusion of women into future military drafts.

Lawmakers will vote this week on a measure offered by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D., Pa.), which would expand the Selective Service requirement to include both men and women. Some Republicans fiercely opposed the move, saying it puts American women unnecessarily in the line of fire because the military already allows women to volunteer.

American Principles Project president Terry Schilling said it is "critical" for Republicans to come out against the measure as a bulwark against further politicization of the military.

"Forcibly conscripting our nation’s mothers, sisters, and daughters into warfare does not make them any more equal," Schilling said. "There is a massive difference between allowing women to volunteer and qualify for military service, as many already do, and forcing them into potential combat roles against their will. And it is no disrespect to the many women now honorably serving in our military to recognize this difference. Especially after the recent debacle in Afghanistan, it is critical that Republicans oppose any and all attempts to further politicize our armed forces and instead insist that moving forward all national defense funding be narrowly aimed at only those things which actually improve said defense." 

House Republicans have similarly opposed the measure, and the House Freedom Caucus urged Republican leadership to block the bill.

"Abolish the draft (fine)—or keep the draft…but do not force women into war," Rep. Chip Roy (R., Texas), who is a member of the caucus, said. "Democrats are at war with Americans, migrants, Israel, capitalism, freedom, cops, small businesses—pretty much everyone but cartels, the Taliban, and China… the only way Republicans could lose politically is to do something really, really dumb like vote to draft our daughters."