Democrats, who currently control the House of Representatives, have passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
This bill includes a provision that would require women to sign up for the military draft.
Democrat Rep. Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania introduced the provision.
“Women have constantly had to fight for a level playing field — and this change is a step in the right direction,” Houlahan said.
The U.S. currently requires men aged 18 to 26 to register for the draft, but no one has been drafted for military service since 1973.
According to polls, a majority of Americans disapprove of mandating draft registration for women.
Only 45 percent of Americans favor enrolling women in the draft, according to the results of an Ipsos poll.
Most Republicans are opposed to the Democrat-back provision.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri is looking to remove the provision in the Senate.
Roughly a dozen Republican senators have come to help Hawley’s efforts.
Republicans have cited a number of reasons for opposing the legislation, including women’s safety as well as national security implications.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said, “Our military has welcomed women for decades and are stronger for it, but America’s daughters shouldn’t be drafted against their will.”
If the Democrat-backed provision passes in the U.S. Senate, women could be forced to register for the Selective Service draft.
Democart Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said, “So much of the trajectory for women in the armed services is based on what experience they’re able to accrue, particularly combat experience.”
“It makes sense to that me that everyone should be eligible for Selective Service,” she added.