Hillary Clinton Backs Women in the Military Draft

Poll shows women narrowly oppose Selective Service registration

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton / AP

Hillary Clinton recently said that she supports legislation that would require women to register for the military draft, despite polling that shows female Americans narrowly oppose the idea.

"I do support that," Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, told the Huffington Post in an interview Wednesday of legislation requiring women to sign up for the Selective Service.

Clinton expressed support for such a measure despite the fact that polling shows women are narrowly  against the idea of having to register for the Selective Service. A YouGov poll released earlier this month found that 43 percent of women, a plurality, do not believe that women should be required to register for the draft.

Clinton’s comments come one day after the Senate approved annual defense legislation that includes language that would require women to sign up for the draft. The fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the full Senate by a vote of 85-13 on Tuesday.

Some Republicans, however, voted against the legislation because of the provision mandating women to sign up for the draft.

"This legislation also forces programs on the American people that are not necessary to protect our lives and safety. It is being used as a vehicle to further agendas that have nothing to do with actually defending America," said Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas). "Despite the many laudable objectives in this bill, I could not in good conscience vote to draft our daughters into the military, sending them off to war and forcing them into combat."

The United States has not had a draft since 1973, and instead has relied on an all-volunteer service.

"I am on record as supporting the all-volunteer military, which I think at this time does serve our country well," Clinton also told the Huffington Post. "And I am very committed to supporting and really lifting up the men and women in uniform and their families."

Currently, only men between the ages of 18 and 26 must register for the draft. The Pentagon’s decision to open up all combat roles to women this year has ignited a debate about whether women should also be required to register.