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Statement from Rep. DeFazio on the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service’s Recommendation for Women to Register for the Draft

Mar 30, 2020
Press Release

Rep. DeFazio released the following statement in response to the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service’s release of its Final Report on the Selective Service System (SSS), which recommends that women aged 18-25 should also register for the military draft:

“The Commission’s recommendation to force even more young Americans to register for the military draft is merely an extension of an unjust and unnecessary policy. 

"No young person, regardless of gender, should be subject to a military draft or be forced to register for a draft in the United States. The military draft registration system is an unnecessary, wasteful bureaucracy which unconstitutionally violates Americans’ civil liberties and unfairly subjects individuals who fail to register for the draft to unnecessarily severe, lifelong penalties – penalties which disproportionately affect low-income Americans. Adding women to the draft will only double the amount of Americans who are subjected to this arcane practice.

"We’ve known for decades that the military draft is an obsolete system. The Commission is kidding itself if it thinks that the simple routine of signing a piece of paper and receiving a registration card in the mail will galvanize young people into civic duty and national service.

"If a war was worth fighting and the Unites States’ very existence was at stake, we wouldn’t need to force Americans into military service – they would volunteer on their own volition.

"We should be abolishing military draft registration altogether, not expanding it. That’s why I’ve reintroduced my legislation, H.R. 5492, to finally abolish the Selective Service System.”