We can End Selective Service (Draft) Registration now!

CCW has been monitoring the discussion about extending the draft and draft registration to women ever since the military opened up all combat positions to women. The most significant movement has been in Congress, where a Commission has been established to study Selective Service.

(CCW opposes registration and conscription for all. A detailed analysis can be found here, or call us at 202-483-2220.)

In Spring 2016, the Senate approved an amendment to the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act, which is considered to be a bill that must pass) that would require women to register with Selective Service. The House of Representatives rejected a proposal to extend the registration requirement to women. Instead, the House version of the NDAA called for a Pentagon study of what effect registering women would have on military preparedness. It also called for a study of what effect eliminating Selective Service registration for men would have on defense readiness. Because the House and Senate versions of the bill differed, the NDAA went into Conference Committee to work out the differences. The Committee and its staff have been secretive about their negotiations throughout the summer and most of fall.

On November 30, 2016, the Conference Committee released its report, and on December 2, the full House of Representatives passed it. On December 8, 2016, the full Senate took the bill up for consideration and passed it as well.

The NDAA as passed does not authorize the registration of women. Instead, it establishes a National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service with a mandate to study whether “there continues to be a continuous or potential need for a military selective service process . . . and if so, whether such a system should include mandatory registration by all citizens and residents, regardless of sex."

The Center on Conscience & War applauds the decision not to require women to register for the draft, but our work is not done!

Over the next couple years, the Commission will be studying the future of the Selective Service System. It has been almost 20 years since Congress has seriously considered whether to end the registration and shut down Selective Service. This is a unique opportunity to make our voices heard.  Click here to learn how! 

Thank you for your work and your witness for rights of conscience and for peace!



Military Conscientious Objector Act (MCOA)


This Congress may well be the best chance we have to bring the MCOA to the fore. The MCOA provides several fundamental changes in the law concerning conscientious  objector discharge from the military.  Three principle ones are:

  • The Act will make CO recognition law, rather than regulation that the military can suspend at will as they did during the Gulf War.
  • The Act will make CO discharge more consistent with all early military discharges–the commanding officer will make the decision without having to be second guessed by the chain of command except in an appeal of a denial.  This is the case for all discharges other than medical now.
  • The Act will provide recognition not only for those completely opposed to warfare in all forms, but also for selective COs who follow the principles of the Just War theory.  This allows recognition of the beliefs of all faith, moral, and ethical traditions rather than accomodate only the beliefs of minority sects which hold that all wars are immoral.

The success of this measure depends on a focused and sustained effort by not only the Center on Conscience & War, but also by our supporters.  The Truth Commission on Conscience in War, in conjunction with Christian Peace Witness and CCW, has and will be engaged in bringing the issue of moral injury and MCOA to regional meetings.  We have developed this webpage to provide you with all the necessary information and knowledge to ensure a successful lobbying visit with your Representative.  Please do not hesitate to contact CCW with any questions you may have in regards to our lobbying efforts and thank you for supporting the Military Conscientious Objector Act.