Women Won’t Register for the Draft After All

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From Smithsonian Mag:

“Should women have to register for the draft? The issue seemed to have been decided this year in the United States when Congress decided to move forward with plans to require gender parity in the Selective Service. But that move toward gender-blind military registration in case of war just backtracked, reports Leo Shane III for the Military Times: A bill that would have required women to register will move forward without the requirement.

Earlier this year, the Senate voted to require women to register for the draft in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which then went to a House/Senate conference committee. But as Patricia Zengerle reports for Reuters, the already controversial bill was gutted of the female draft provision by Republicans “uneasy with moves toward allowing women in combat” during negotiations.

Instead, notes Shane, the Selective Service System, which registers men who are between the ages of 18 and 25 for potential military service, will be studied to see if it’s still “realistic and cost effective.” As it stands now, the Military Selective Service Act, which lays out regulation for who must serve, does not mention words like “female” or “woman” at all. On its website, the Selective Service notes that despite the fact that women are not currently required to register, it is ready to register and draft women “if given the mission and modest additional resources.”

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