Courtesy of the Daily Signal
By Franchetta Groves
Earlier this month the Equal Rights Amendment saw a revival in support and a rejuvenated passion for its ratification. The Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, is a proposed amendment originally introduced to Congress in 1923. Forty nine years later it saw approval in the Senate and was able to move on to the states for ratification, where it received the support of thirty five states, but was unable to pass.
Due to a 1982 deadline on the bill, it was never ratified. However on February 13, the House acted to remove this deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment and passed the bill to revive the ERA by a vote of 232-118. The amendment’s written goal is, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi advocated for the amendment by reading the text and addressed those who are in opposition of it by asking how they can have a problem with that.
The fears which Republican congressmen have raised is that this bill will be used to protect abortion.
“If we want to discuss protecting rights for all Americans, it needs to pertain to everyone, including and especially newborns,” said Representative Carol Miller.
Miller and other republicans have raised fears that the passing of the ERA will lead to an increase in the number of tax payer funded abortions. Another fear raised by Republican congressmen is that the ratification of the amendment is unconstitutional because it has passed the deadline in which it was to be passed.
Liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Gingsburg herself said, “I would like to see a new beginning,” when asked about the amendment. “I’d like it to start over.”
Democrats argue, however, that the amendment is long overdue and is necessary to ensure that the Constitution explicitly incorporates and protects women’s rights under the law. Representative Jackie Speier of California, who is the resolution’s sponsor commented, “There is no expiration date on equality.”
A group of young women from Catholic University’s Cardinals for Life group attended the vote on the ERA to stand against it and watch history unfold.
“While good in theory, in practice the ERA will take away equal protection under the law from the most discriminated group of women in the world today, the women in the womb,” said junior biology major Lindsey Valancius.
Other students on campus also voiced this same fear.
“The ERA would also make abortion on demand and taxpayer funded and deny our most basic right that is the Right to Life. On the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote through the 19th amendment, we should be celebrating women not tearing them down,” spoke sophomore politics major Raegan Lehman.
However other women on campus see this amendment as a victory towards equality and a move in the right direction.
“It’s great to see the government in action, and while there might be concerns it’s encouraging that women are being considered more in government legislation,” said Rachel Stevens, a senior media and communications major,“All genders should be entitled to equal treatment under the law!”