House Democrats Schedule Vote on Removing Deadline for Equal Rights Amendment

A woman hold up a sign as members of Congress and representatives of women's groups hold a
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House Democrat leaders have scheduled a vote Thursday on a resolution that would remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, (ERA), one that would eradicate any distinction between men and women and enshrine abortion on demand into the Constitution.

Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY) tweeted her support of the ERA on Monday.

“The vague, poorly written language of the ERA does not allow any distinction to be made between men and women – even when it makes sense to do so based on their biological differences,” stated the Eagle Forum. “As a result, the ERA will harm women and their unborn children by overturning laws and programs that benefit them.”

Additionally, the ERA would be used to overturn all abortion restrictions to make abortion available to any woman or girl at any stage of pregnancy.

“The ERA would be used to mandate taxpayer funding of elective Medicaid abortions,” Eagle Forum observes.

This pattern follows from what has occurred when states have passed their own ERAs.

For example, as Eagle Forum notes, state ERAs passed in Connecticut and New Mexico were subsequently used to overturn abortion limits and mandate taxpayer funding of the procedure, since any restrictions on abortion would be specific to females alone and, therefore, a form of sex discrimination.

Students for Life of America (SFLA) has also launched a national campaign to urge a “no” vote on the ERA resolution.

“If the resolution is passed by the House, the stage will be set to roll back important gains made in the last several decades for women’s rights, and it will be used as a way to enshrine abortion in the Constitution,” said Kristan Hawkins, SFLA president.

With many states passing abortion restrictions and the Supreme Court set to hear a Louisiana abortion case next month, the abortion lobby and the politicians it promotes have told their supporters the only way it can achieve its goal of unrestricted abortion on demand and at taxpayer expense is to enshrine the right to abortion into the Constitution.

During the Democrat debate in New Hampshire Friday evening, presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) predicted what pro-abortion rights politicians such as herself would need to do:

If we are going to protect the people of the United States of America and we are going to protect our right to have dominion over our own bodies, then it’s going to mean we can’t simply rely on the courts … That means we should be pushing for a congressional solution as well. It is time to have a national law to protect the right of a woman’s choice.

SFLA points out as well that abortion political advocacy organization NARAL recently admitted the ERA would enshrine a right to abortion into the Constitution.

The pro-life youth organization quoted an email to NARAL supporters by the group’s chief lobbyist:

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. 

In January, however, the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the U.S. Justice Department delivered an opinion that asserted the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is dead and cannot be revived by Congress.

The OLC’s opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Steven A. Engel, is binding on the National Archives.

The ruling asserts the deadline for ratification of the ERA set by Congress in 1972 is still valid:

Congress may not revive a proposed amendment after a deadline for its ratification has expired. Should Congress wish to propose the amendment anew, it may do so through the same procedures required to propose an amendment in the first instance, consistent with Article V of the Constitution.

“We conclude that Congress had the constitutional authority to impose a deadline on the ratification of the ERA and, because that deadline has expired, the ERA Resolution is no longer pending before the states,” wrote Engel.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also affirmed Monday the deadline to ratify the ERA has expired.

“I would like to see a new beginning,” Ginsburg told an audience at Georgetown University Law Center. “I’d like it to start over.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at a press conference on February 5 he is “personally not a supporter” of ERA and has not thought about it.

“The ERA isn’t about equality; it isn’t about women’s rights, and it doesn’t deserve to be an amendment to the Constitution,” SFLA’s Hawkins said. “H.J. Res. 79 is a Trojan horse designed, constructed, and deployed by the left to wreak havoc on our Constitution by inserting language that will be a tax-payer funded hook for abortion.”


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