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Women To The Draft: Thanks, But No Thanks

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Jonah Bennett Contributor

Congress is debating making women sign up for the draft, but women seem opposed to this push for equality.

A new poll conducted by The Economist and YouGov from June 18-20 found 41 percent of women believe they should not be required to register for the draft when they turn 18. In comparison, only 29 percent of men said women should be able to avoid the draft, Roll Call reports.

Sixty-one percent of men said women should be forced to sign up for the draft. Thirty-nine percent of women said they are in support of having to sign up for the draft.

Far more men than women would like to see females have to go through the exact same Selective Service process they do. Ever since 1980, men have had to sign up for the draft when they come of age.

The previous justification for keeping women out of the draft was that women were not allowed in combat roles, but that justification collapsed following Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s pronouncement in December that all combat roles would open to women—no exceptions.

Since that pronouncement, numerous military leaders have come out in support of requiring women to sign up for Selective Service, but the issue seems far more contentious in Congress.

After a bitter fight, the Senate recently approved an amendment to require women to register. This amendment will have to be reconciled in conference with the House version of the annual defense budget bill, which only mandates a study be conducted on the institution of the draft itself.

GOP Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, has supported the female draft, while GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is decidedly opposed.

“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,” Cruz said, according to Roll Call.

The margin of error for this Economist/YouGov poll is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

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