In response to a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY22 that requires women between the ages of 18 and 26 to register for the selective service, Reps. Burgess Owens (UT-04), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), Michelle Steel (CA-48), Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), and Chris Stewart (UT-02) introduced the Women’s Choice in Service Act. The bill amends the Military Selective Service Act and allows women to opt-in to the draft.
“Amid Congress’ work to fund and support America’s armed services, an amendment forcing women to register for the draft was passed with no opportunity for discussion or debate on the floor, blindsiding constituents and stakeholders in Utah’s Fourth District,” said Rep. Owens. “As a father to five daughters and grandfather of eleven girls, I believe that women should not be forced to serve, but rather celebrated for their heroic contributions to our country’s military.”
“I’ve heard from many constituents who have concerns regarding this provision of the NDAA, and I share them. I thank Congressman Owens for taking the lead on this issue,” said Rep. Tenney. “Women make tremendous contributions as members of the Armed Forces, and I celebrate their incredible achievements and service. This legislation ensures that women have the opportunity to serve in the future but that they be given the right to make the decision for themselves.”
“This perverse mandate has no place in the NDAA, or in any legislation,” said Rep. Chris Stewart. “As a former member of the armed forces, I have proudly served alongside both men and women. I admire anyone who is brave enough to serve their country. And in time of war, I would certainly encourage all able-bodied Americans to do exactly that. But there is no justification for the federal government requiring that America’s women take up arms. I hope that both my Republican and Democrat colleagues see the logistical disruptions this provision would have to service qualifications, force readiness, and more.”