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Virtual Town Hall: Will Congress ​Expand Military Draft Registration to Women?

Thursday, September 3, at 6:00

Truth in Recruitment and the Santa Barbara Friends Meeting (Quakers) invites the Central Coast community to a virtual Town Hall with U.S. Representative Salud Carbajal to discuss proposed legislation that will require women to register for the military draft.

Please register in advance for this meeting; after registering, a confirmation email will be sent with information about joining the meeting.

The U.S. Congress is currently debating the future of the Selective Service System (SSS). For the last four decades, only men between 18 and 26 years old have been required to register with the SSS for a potential military draft. Earlier this year, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS) recommended that Congress expand SSS registration to women. 

Truth in Recruitment, along with a network of peace activists, feminists, faith communities, draft-resisters, and draft-age youth disagree with this recommendation. We firmly believe that instead of trying to expand draft registration to young women, Congress should end draft registration for all.

Spokesperson Kate Connell of TIR stated, “We do not believe that mandating women to register for a military draft supports equality for women; extending coercive measures to women will not expand their opportunities, it will merely remove their option to choose.” She continued, “We believe that the best way to promote gender equality is to end draft registration for all.  Extending mandatory draft registration to new groups is neither an expression of expanding liberty nor is it an ‘insurance policy’ to avert war.”

The Town Hall will serve as an opportunity for the local community to learn more and voice their concerns about the SSS. In attendance will be U.S. Representative Salud Carbajal, who is co-sponsoring Congressional Bill, H.R. 6415, that would mandate young women to register for a military draft. 

Another bipartisan bill, H.R. 5492, calls for elimination of the SSS, to move beyond forcing young people into the military. The main sponsor of the bill, Rep. Peter DeFazio, said:

“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.”


Sponsors include: McCune Foundation, Fund for Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Friends Meeting, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE SB), and Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN), House of Pride and Equality (HOPE), and Women’s March Santa Maria Valley.

Click here to register for the event.