FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—Most women in the U.S. oppose a recent proposal to include women in a potential military draft, a new poll finds. 

A national survey by Scott Rasmussen, shared exclusively with The Daily Signal, found that 22% of female respondents “somewhat oppose” drafting women and 36% “strongly oppose” it as Congress weighs legislation on the issue. 

About half of men polled said they disagree, with 27% “somewhat” supportive, 23% “strongly” supportive, and 9% unsure. 

Most independents and “lean Democrat” voters surveyed said they disapproved of the proposal to draft women, as did a plurality of both standard Republican and Democrat voters. “Lean GOP” voters were the only ones showing majority support for conscripting women, according to the poll. 

Overall, 50% of Americans said they oppose the proposal, while 41% said they support it and 9% were unsure. 

The release of Rasmussen’s survey comes after the Senate Armed Services Committee last month passed an annual defense package that would make women eligible for a draft if Congress approves one. 

Committee Chairman Jack Reed, D-R.I., has argued that the U.S. “would need all able-bodied citizens 18 and above” if it faced a “serious situation” during wartime. 

But Elaine Donnelly, president and founder of the Center for Military Readiness, said “physiological differences between men and women” can’t be ignored. 

“Women have always served honorably in times of national emergency, and it is an affront to suggest they would not do so again,” Donnelly told The Daily Signal in an email. “Physiological differences between men and women, confirmed in many scientific field tests, have not changed. 

Donnelly added: “Very few women would qualify for combat replacement (infantry) positions during a catastrophic national emergency, so a 50-50 mixed-sex call-up would jam the Selective Service system at the worst possible time.” 

“Involuntary conscription of women would make combat arms units less strong, less fast, more vulnerable to debilitating injuries, less ready for deployment on short notice, and less accurate with offensive weapons during combat operations in a time of war,” Donnelly said. “Some misguided members of the Senate pulled ‘Draft Our Daughters’ out of the dustbin of legislative history, but enactment in law would weaken military readiness, not strengthen it.” 

Critics use the phrase “Draft Our Daughters” to describe repeated attempts to include such a provision in defense bills in the past few years. 

Rasmussen’s survey “suggests that female respondents understand this issue better than others who are falsely framing this issue in terms of ‘equity,’” she said.

Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 registered voters June 24 and 25. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.