Hawley Leads Colleagues in Effort to Remove NDAA Provision Forcing Women to Register for Draft

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Eight Senators have signed on to an amendment led by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (Mo.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would remove a provision requiring women to register for the Selective Service System.

U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.) cosponsored Senator Hawley’s amendment this week. 

“Forcing our daughters, mothers, wives, and sisters to fight our wars is wrong. We should celebrate the women who have volunteered to serve our country and thank the women who played a vital role in defending America at every point in our nation’s history,” Senator Hawley said. “But volunteering is different than being forced to serve, and that’s why it was removed from last year’s NDAA. I hope my colleagues join us again to ensure we don’t change our laws to require women in this country to register for the draft.”

Senator Cruz said, “As a proud father of two daughters, the prospect of the government forcing women into military service is outrageous. American women are capable of achieving anything they set their minds to, but they should not be compelled against their will to fight in our wars.”

Senator Cotton said, “Our military has welcomed women for decades and our nation is stronger for it. But America’s daughters should never be drafted against their will.”

Senator Rubio said, “Women are free to choose if they would like to serve honorably in our armed forces, but no wife, daughter, or mother should be forced to serve against her will. It is wrong and unnecessary.”

Senator Marshall said, “There is no doubt our nation has incredible women serving throughout our Armed Forces — many of which are accomplishing remarkable achievements in order to defend our freedoms and way of life,” said Senator Marshall. “That said, America should not be a country that forces its daughters, mothers, wives, and sisters to go to war. This proposal is wrong, and I will continue to oppose it.”

Senator Daines said, “Brave Montana men and women carry out the Treasure State’s rich legacy of service by voluntarily joining our nation’s military. There is no need to force our nation’s daughters to enter the draft.”

Senator Boozman said, “Women voluntarily joining our Armed Forces has undeniably strengthened the U.S. military’s effectiveness and resilience. Preserving their ability to willingly pursue service in uniform, while ensuring it remains an option rather than an obligation, continues to be a priority. I’m proud to join Sen. Hawley and our colleagues in leading the effort to protect this existing pathway.”

Last year, Senator Hawley successfully led the Republican effort to remove this provision from the FY ’22 NDAA.