The Equal Rights Amendment Died 100 Years Ago… Stop Trying to Reanimate the Corpse

Brenna Lewis - 09 Mar 2021


The abortion lobby and their pet politicians in D.C. are trying to bring back the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) or as we call it, the “Everything Related to Abortion” amendment. This bill is NOT about equal rights. The ERA is simply a Trojan Horse for tax-payer funded abortion on demand and abortion supporters are openly admitting it.


Students for Life has been opposing the ERA over the last few years, working with other groups as well as lobbying, emailing, advocating for a NO vote on ERA. At one point, we were even on the same side as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who herself pleaded with her own side to let it go already as the deadline is beyond expired. 


Now, with the new “Equality Act” (HR 5) also being pushed by pro-abortion legislators, the fight against taxpayer-funded abortion is two-fold. “The Equality Act would allow discrimination against pre-born babies and people of faith, as it strips First Amendment protections from those horrified by the loss of life from abortion and forces taxpayers to fund abortions through all nine-months of pregnancy,” said Students for Life’s Kristan Hawkins. “Our focus should be on helping women succeed a home and work, not in forcing taxpayer funded abortion to keep them on the job without families.”


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


Some of Students for Life’s Efforts Against the ERA 


Students for Life Calls on Congress to Reject the ERA

As Virginia Prepares to Pass ERA, Students for Life Will be Organized and Litigious to See This Finally End

Despite Department of Justice Declaring ERA Dead, Virginia Advances It

Isn’t the ERA Legally Dead?

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