For the first time in history, women will have to register for the draft, according to a new military policy bill approved by the Senate, The New York Times reports.
Women turning 18 on or after New Year’s Day of 2018 will be required to register for Selective Service, like men do now.
Failure to do so will lead to penalties, including loss of Federal Pell Grant eligibility or other federal aids.
Senator John McCain, former presidential hopeful and Republican chairman of Committee on Armed Services, saw the move appropriate considering women are now allowed into all positions of the military.
“The fact is, every single leader in this country, both men and women, members of the military leadership, believe that it’s fair since we opened up all aspects of the military to women that they would also be registering for Selective Services,” McCain stated.
His explanation sounds a little bit like “punishment” for the advancements women have made in the military.
There were some detractors from the bill, with Senator Ted Cruz voting against the move, saying, “I could not in good conscience vote to draft our daughters into the military, sending them off to war and forcing them into combat.”
The U.S. has not used the draft since the Vietnam War in 1973, which led to a wave of protests (most notably, Muhammad Ali‘s draft refusal) for sending sons into a war which many people to this day still don’t understand.
Hopefully, this won’t happen again in the near future. But the way this political season is going…we just don’t know.
SOURCE: The New York Times | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty