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Lankford, Colleagues Do Not Want Women to Have to Register for the Draft

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) to introduce a resolution expressing that the Senate should not pass legislation mandating the registration of women for the Selective Service System.

“Our all-volunteer military is the finest fighting force the world has ever known,” said Lankford. “Women have shown they are more than capable of fully serving in our Armed Forces, and I commend our brave daughters, sisters, and mothers who serve our nation. There is no reason to add women to the outdated Selective Service System to prepare for a draft. When we have faced national security threats over the past four decades, men and women who love our country have volunteered in massive numbers to protect our nation with great distinction. Women are eligible to serve in any role in our military that they choose, but they should not be compelled to sign up for selective service.”

“Forcing our daughters into the draft creates a burdensome and disproportionately increased risk of injury and fatalities for our nation’s women, as readiness data shows,” said Lee. “This policy change is rushed and unnecessary in our current time of peace, and unduly harms women more than advancing any notion of equality. While American women should be empowered to serve in our Armed Forces, they should not be forced to fight.”

“Montana has a rich legacy of service that is carried on today by both men and women who voluntarily serve our country,” said Daines. “We do not need to be forcing our nation’s daughters to enter the draft.”

“Women have heroically served in and alongside America’s fighting forces since our nation’s founding. It’s one thing to allow American women to choose this life, it’s quite another to force it upon our daughters, sisters, and wives,” said Hawley. “Missourians feel strongly that compelling women to serve is wrong and so do I.”

Earlier this summer, the Senate Armed Services Committee included in the markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 a provision that would require women to register for the draft.

The draft, in its rare instances of use, primarily serves as a pipeline to replace combat forces. However, data from the Marine Corps demonstrates that injury rates in combat roles are significantly higher for women over men. The Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force found that musculoskeletal injuries were twice as high for women; and research conducted at the Infantry Training Battalion demonstrated an injury rate for enlisted women six-times higher than the rate for men.

Additionally, the physical fitness required for combat roles are only achievable for a small percentage of women. Data from Army’s gender-neutral Combat Fitness Test show a fail rate ranging between 65 percent to 85 percent for women, compared to 10 percent to 30 percent for men.