Conscription for Women Removed from Military Bill

by | Dec 9, 2021


In July, I wrote an article the title of which asked this question: “Expanding Conscription to Women to Become Law this Year?” In the article, I wrote that there were indications that the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to be voted on this year could include a requirement that women register with Selective Service as men are required to register — a requirement supported by many Congress members and President Joe Biden. Requiring women to register with Selective Service would put women along with men as potential conscripts should the United States government reinstate a military draft.

As I wrote in July, there has been over the last few years substantial movement toward making women subjectable to a future draft. Fortunately, it appears that the legislative action toward this goal will not reach fruition this year, though there is no sign that the effort to lay the foundation for drafting women is being abandoned.

In a Monday Politico article, Connor O’Brien described the last-minute change of course that appears to have saved women, at least for now, from Selective Service registration. O’Brien explained that the provision regarding draft registration for women was ultimately left out of the final version of the NDAA “despite the fact that both chambers’ bills would have expanded the Selective Service System beyond men.” This outcome, O’Brien wrote, “is a victory for conservatives who fought to strip the provision.”

A commonly heard argument in favor of requiring women to register with Selective Service as men do is that such a change advances equality between men and women. With the apparent failure of such a requirement to obtain legislative success this year, there is more time for draft opponents to counterargue that a better alternative is ending the Selective Service registration requirement for men. Legal equality for men and women is best demonstrated in freedom, not in draft slavery.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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