After fifty years, the Equal Rights Amendment is again rearing its ugly head. After a contentious hearing on the ERA last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to bring legislation (S.J. Res. 4) to the floor to remove the seven-year deadline during the month of March. While proponents claim that this amendment will give women “rights,” it actually does the opposite.
Thanks to the efforts of Phyllis Schlafly the dedicated women she rallied to the cause, the ERA failed to reach the 38-state threshold needed to ratify it for inclusion in the Constitution within the legislated seven-year deadline and the unlawful three-year extension. Thirty-five states ratified it by 1977, and five of those states rescinded their ratifications. Since 1979, several federal courts and the United States National Archivist have confirmed that it is indeed dead. Yet, feminists ignored these facts and implemented their “three-state strategy,” encouraging Nevada (2017), Illinois (2018), and Virginia (2020) to ratify well past the deadline, and now claim ERA has the 38 states necessary to become a part of the U.S. Constitution.
Removing the deadline is an unprecedented maneuver that seeks to bypass the rules of the amendment process. Feminist icon and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg explicitly stated that Congress must start again from the beginning in order to ratify the ERA. Not only has the deadline expired, but the majority of voters today were yet to be born or not of voting age at the time the ERA was moving through the states. Senator Lee pointed out that the deadline included in the original amendment was added as a compromise in order to get the votes to pass the ERA back in 1971. Deleting it in 2023 is an affront to the process then, as well as our rights to weigh in as citizens today.
It’s clear the ERA is even worse for women today than it was when originally proposed. This amendment allows biological men to legally usurp women’s rights. Access to women’s sports teams, women’s nursing rooms, and women’s domestic violence shelters (just to name a few) puts women’s privacy and safety in jeopardy. The Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County in 2020 changed the legal definition of sex in Title VII to include ‘sexual orientation and gender identity’(SSOGI), not just biological sex. Now males who ‘identify as female’ will be able to be considered women and gain protections put in place for females.
Unfortunately, the ERA’s negative impact does not stop there. The ERA will expand and mandate abortion access through tax-payer funding. This has already been done in Connecticut and New Mexico (N.M. Right to Choose/NARAL v. Johnson, Doe v. Maher). The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) even encouraged litigators to use the ERA to strike down restrictions on abortion such as parental consent laws. They also filed briefs in abortion cases in Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut arguing that since an abortion procedure is only performed on women, a state’s denial of taxpayer-funded abortion should be considered “sex discrimination” under their state ERA. Because a Constitutional Amendment has more authority than state laws, it will overturn every state-level pro-life protection and have the effect of nullifying the Dobbs decision.
ERA was a bad idea in the 1970s, but it is an even worse idea now because we have a female Supreme Court Justice who refuses to define "woman". We have physicians who ignore biology and try to make males into females and make females into males. We have elementary school teachers who confuse children by teaching that gender is not binary but fluid. We even have a male assistant Secretary of Health who thinks he is a woman.
If ERA were in the U.S. Constitution, then males and females would be forced to be interchangeable in every situation. Women, girls, and anyone in a vulnerable situation would be harmed by eliminating the legal recognition and protection that males and females are biologically different from each other.
For these reasons, Eagle Forum asks for your help in contacting your Senator and ask them to vote NO on S.J. Res. 4.