What You Need to Know About the ERA
1. The ERA would actually HURT women by wiping out all kinds of laws set up to specifically help them.
2. Those laws would be wiped out because the ERA says there can be no favoritism in the law by sex, which may have made sense 100 years ago, but today there is a framework of laws protecting women and their unique interests.
3. Hundreds of laws would be impacted, and it won’t help law enforcement focus on crimes against women.
The ERA specifically states that a person’s sex could not be considered in making a legal preference. With that in mind, consider the many protections designed for women that would be impacted and harmed including the Equal Pay Act of 1963; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972; the Federal Minimum Wage Act of 1974, and the Pregnancy Nondiscrimination Act of 1964.
In fact, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in Sex Bias in the U.S. Code that the ERA will change 800 federal laws. The financial impact on women is incalculable, and ERA will do nothing to focus attention on sexual crimes against women, as a focus on women would be discouraged.
4. Feminist icons like Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothy Kenyon (who chaired the ACLU’s Committee on Women’s Rights) opposed the ERA BECAUSE they believed it would harm laws designed for women. In 1940s and ’50s, the ACLU and other left-of-center organizations dubbed it the “Unequal Rights Amendment.”
5. This is not the Equal Rights Amendment, but rather the Everything Related to Abortion Act, as this measure will in fact do what Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton do not — create an actual place in our Constitution on which to hang the interest of the abortion industry.
6. Leaders of the so-called women’s movement made it clear that ERA was about abortion.
Betty Friedan, one of the founders of the modern pro-ERA movement, stated in her March 1978 letter to the International Women’s Year Conference delegates; “The ERA has become both symbol and substance for the whole of the modern woman’s movement of equality. Further, I am convinced if we lose this struggle for the ERA, we will have little hope in our own lifetime of saving our right to abortion.”
Betty Friedan, quoted in Eileen Vogel, “Abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment: A Call to Common Sense.” People Concerned for the Unborn Child, June 1978.
NARAL has admitted in an email to supporters that they want the ERA because it enshrines a right to abortion into the Constitution. In an e-mail sent in March 2019, their chief lobbyist wrote, “In order to protect our reproductive freedom today it’s essential we pass the newly re-introduced bill to ratify the ERA. With its ratification, the ERA would reinforce the constitutional right to abortion by clarifying that the sexes have equal rights, which would require judges to strike down anti-abortion laws because they violate both the constitutional right to privacy and sexual equality.”
7. Taxpayers should be warned that costly litigation will be required because of serious problems with today’s push for ERA.
Litigation would include conflict over:
- The ERA missing TWO stated, Congressional deadlines
- The second deadline’s legality is in question as well
- The legality of a third attempt to change the deadline now in Congress
- The fact that 5 states rescinded their votes for the ERA
- Definition of the word “sex” which is being defined different by administrations for the purposes of policy enforcement
- And that’s before we get to what this requires or how it impacts hundreds of laws. Example: This includes a law like the draft, which has been used to conscript men only. Conversation on this should take place as it was a variable in the last, real conversation on the ERA.
8. Taxpayers should know that state supreme courts have said that ERA-like legislation required taxpayer-funded abortion.
9. While abortion is NOT in the U.S. Constitution, equal rights for women are in the law. The Supreme Court has found that the Fourteenth Amendment includes women.
10. Another huge variable for future litigation will be the definition of “sex” and how that has been under attack, making it likely that women will not be helped.
Resources for Fighting the ERA
- Students for Life Action: Email Your Congress Member to Reject ERA
- For Building the Coalition in opposition to ERA: www.exposeera.org
- Video Explaining the ERA.
- Op-Ed from Kristan Hawkins on the ERA at Real Clear Politics.
- Op-Ed from Kristan Hawkins on the ERA at Washington Times.
- Op-Ed from Kristan Hawkins and Anna Schlafly Cori on the ERA at The Federalist.
Some of Students for Life’s Efforts Against the ERA