Equal Rights Amendment

March 1, 2023

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The Equal Rights Amendment is Closer than Ever!

On this first day of Women’s month, let’s spotlight the Equal Rights Amendment.

Demonstrators protest outside of the federal courthouse
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

I mentioned it before in a previous RePro Roe-D-O, but we have made some progress since then!

Yay, we almost have equal rights?

It feels a bit anti-climactic to talk about equality for women at a time when our rights are being dismantled before our very eyes. 

But that is all the more reason to put our equality in writing and codified in the United States Constitution! 

What is the ERA? 

The Equal Rights Amendment is a proposed amendment to the US Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex.

It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.

It simply states:

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Wait, wasn’t the ERA passed back in the early 1970’s in the women’s movement with the burning bras and all that stuff? 

Alice Paul and text of the Equal Rights Amendment

Yeah, we wish..  Unfortunately to be passed, it needed to meet two requirements for amendments according to the US Constitution:

  1. Approval by two-thirds of both chambers of Congress (in 1971 and 1972 for the House and Senate, respectively)
  2. Ratification by 3/4 of the states – 38 out of 50 (Virginia finally ratified on Jan. 27th, 2020)

Despite meeting both requirements in early 2020, recognition of the ERA as an amendment to the Constitution was.. you guessed it, blocked by the Trump administration in 2020.

Renewed Bi-Partisan Efforts to Push it Through

On January 31st, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a joint resolution to affirm the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), removing the arbitrary deadline for ratification and recognizing the amendment as part of the Constitution.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) speaks during a news conference to announce a joint resolution to affirm the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment on Capitol Hill on January 31, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer/Getty

“Our resolution will help address centuries of gender disparities in America by removing the unnecessary barriers that have prevented us from enshrining the dignity, humanity and equality of all people into our Constitution,” said Pressley.

“We as women have done our job, the states have done their job, and now it’s time for Congress to do its job and pass this resolution.”

Publish the ERA Now!

Several different groups are in alignment that now all that needs to happen to realize our goal is for President Biden to direct the US Archivist to publish the amendment to the constitution immediately.

The ERA Coalition

The ERA Coalition comprises more than 280 national and local partner and supporter organizations across the country.

Together they represent millions of advocates working for the equality of all.

They strategize with states seeking ratification and work with legislators on the amendment and other ERA bills.

They provide groundbreaking research, and have worked tirelessly since 2018 to build the groundswell for the cause.

They continue to lead the charge for publication of the amendment in the constitution where it rightfully belongs.

Equal Means Equal

March 22, 2023 marks 100 years since Alice Paul drafted the Equal Rights Amendment. 

Equal means Equal graphic showing map of US and which states have ratified the ERA.
https://equalmeansequal.org/

And ‘Equal means Equal’ plans to push the movement and “celebrate” the centennial over the next year.

Hopefully by the end of that year (March 22, 2024), the ERA is published in the constitution.

Check out their “Her-story” of Women’s Rights in the US for more background. 

Arlaine Rockey @RockeyLaw

A civil law attorney, Arlaine has worked tirelessly for the Equal Rights Amendment in several ways. 

She argued that the Trump administration illegally blocked the publication of a new constitution including the ERA as the 28th Amendment. 

Arlaine represented 80 Amici (friends of the court, including SAG-AFTRA) in the federal Equal Means Equal ERA case. 

She also represented the ERA-NC Alliance in the Dobbs case.

She argued that the ERA protects Reproductive Rights, and should have nullified Dobbs.  

Thus, once the ERA is published, it will codify our fundamental reproductive rights. 

Arlaine Rockey's meme about publishing the ERA with Kamala Harris' image.

The president can save our reproductive rights and guarantee women’s equality with publishing the ERA. 

Arlaine has a blog about this ERA topic: 

So, what’s the bottom line?

Biden Publish the ERA image

We will continue to fight for our equality.

We stand together united against the patriarchy.

Ask Biden to Publish the ERA now! 

We will prevail!

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