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Daily Talker: Should Women Register For The Draft?

The battle over inequality could soon put women on the front lines. A House panel narrowly voted yesterday to require women to register for the military draft. Under current law, all men ages 18 to 25 are required to register for possible involuntary military service with the Selective Service System. Women have always been exempt. But just a few months ago, Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened all military jobs to women. Some argue they should be allowed and required to sign up for the draft.

Opponents say women should not be drafted into combat. The author of the amendment voted against his own measure. Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, a Marine veteran, said he offered the measure to trigger a discussion about women's roles in the military. He described graphic images of combat in an apparent attempt to convince committee members that drafting women would lead to them being sent directly into harm's way. Hunter said, "A draft is there to put bodies on the front lines… The draft is there to get more people to rip the enemies' throats out and kill them." But it looks like his plan didn't work. Rep. Jackie Speier of California supported the measure, "I actually think if we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, we should be willing to support a universal conscription." Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, a retired Air Force fighter pilot, said draftees are not exclusively sent to the front lines. She says there are plenty of other useful, noncombat positions they can fill. The full House will take up the bill soon.

It's important to note, according to the Military Times, Defense Department leaders say they do not see any scenario where a draft will actually happen. No Americans have been pressed into involuntary military service since the last draft ended in 1973.

What do you think? Should women be required to register for the draft?


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