Petition to end draft so women won't have to register gathers over 11K signatures

Petition to end draft so women won't have to register gathers over 11K signatures
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A petition circulating online is asking Congress to end the military draft instead of requiring women to register for it.   

The petition, started by a Care2 activist, has collected over 11,500 signatures, in response to recent legislation requiring women to register for the draft. 

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The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday passed an amendment to an annual defense bill that would require women to register for the draft because the Pentagon has opened up all combat positions to women. 

The amendment was introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), a Marine and Iraq War veteran who said he opposes requiring women to register for the draft but wanted to force a debate on the issue in Congress. 

The amendment passed 32-30, mostly along party lines. 

The petition calls on Congress to introduce new legislation that would end the draft for both sexes. Currently, every male has to register for the draft, formally called the Selective Service System, at age 18 and is eligible to be drafted through age 26. 

"While this is unfair and sexist — women should be allowed to serve in combat roles just as men are — it is immoral to force people to go to war, no matter their sex," Julie Mastrine, the petition's author and Care2's activism marketing and social media manager, says in the document. 

"While this amendment may make things equal, bodily autonomy should be taken into account and military service should be based on choice. Our bodies are not communal property, and we should NEVER be compelled to fight in a war we may disagree with," she adds. 

In a press release about the petition, Mastrine rejected the argument that a draft would consider Americans to think twice before going to war. 

“It’s become very clear that Congress votes in the interest of defense contractors and other moneyed interests, not U.S. citizens, when making decisions to go to war," she said. 

The amendment could be removed on he House floor or from the final bill when it is merged with the Senate's.