Skip to comments.Phyllis Schlafly Was Right About The Equal Rights Amendment
Posted on 02/19/2020 1:09:37 PM PST by Kaslin
Editor's note: This column was co-authored by Victoria Cobb, President of The Family Foundation.
Phyllis Schlafly was right when she warned against The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution. One woman predicted the ERA’s dire consequences – and nearly single-handedly led the revolution to stop it. The ERA contains seemingly innocuous language about equal rights for women, however, it would result in dangerous consequences, including enshrining a Constitutional right to an abortion, up until the moment of birth, and funded by taxpayers.
When the ERA currently being considered by Congress was first introduced in 1972, few people were thinking about how it would affect the unborn. Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the Supreme Court cases that created a “right” to abortion on demand at all stages, was still a year away.
The ERA met its match in Phyllis Schlafly. She confounded those who disagreed with her and deserved the reputation of being tough as nails. She was, in fact, a homemaker and mother of six children who authored dozens of books and earned a law degree.
Even though the ERA was supported by presidents of both parties, Phyllis sent all her opponents home in defeat, and prompted five states to rescind their approval of the abortion-granting Constitutional Amendment. (She is also one of the handful of people that made sure at least one party’s platform, the Republican Party, has been pro-life since 1980.)
Mrs. Schlafly was prescient about equal rights amendments causing damage. State equal rights amendments have already been used as a legal tool to require forced abortion funding by taxpayers. In 1986, a Connecticut court struck down a restriction on abortion funding, finding that, “since only women become pregnant, discrimination against pregnancy by not funding abortion when it is medically necessary and when all other medical expenses are paid by the state for both men and women is sex oriented discrimination.” That court proceeded to compel taxpayers to fund abortions, “The court enjoins the defendant commissioner from enforcing said regulation and orders that the defendants pay for the costs of all medically necessary abortions.”
In 1998, New Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled similarly that the ERA mandates taxpayer funding for abortions: “New Mexico's Equal Rights Amendment requires a searching judicial inquiry to determine whether the Department's rule prohibiting state funding for certain medically necessary abortions denies Medicaid-eligible women equality of rights under law. We conclude from this inquiry that the Department's rule violates New Mexico's Equal Rights Amendment because it results in a program that does not apply the same standard of medical necessity to both men and women.”
If the ERA is adopted and used to secure abortion as a constitutional right, it will mean not only the elimination of popular riders like the Hyde amendment, which protects taxpayers from funding abortion, it would also allow for the elimination of common-sense and compassionate restrictions on abortion like partial birth abortion bans, parental and informed consent laws, and conscience protections.
Polling shows that Americans are not on board with this no-holds-barred abortion agenda. For example, a 2020 Marist poll found that 60% do not want their tax dollars used to pay for abortions and 70% would limit abortion to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy. In fact, the general trend in several polls is for greater restrictions on abortion – not less, particularly after the first month of pregnancy. For example, Gallup found that only 28% think abortion should be legal in the second trimester, and that number drops to 13% in the third trimester.
Phyllis Schlafly fought for all women – born and unborn. If proponents of the ERA were really interested in equal rights for women, they would consider the rights of unborn baby girls aborted each year in the United States because they are girls. And Congress should reject this needless and dangerous legislation that would open the flood gates to abortion without any restriction, at taxpayer expense. <
It’s been dead for 40 years.
This is a really dead horse, stop beating it.
Dead horses are NEVER dead with Leftists.
They’ll be holding voodoo seances to try and reanimate for as long as any of us will be alive.
Very few abortions are medically necessary. And men (who do not get pregnant) are not treated equally under any law that compels paying for a procedure that only women can procure. So it looks like a lot of twisted thinking is used to rationalize taxpayer funded abortion.
Isn’t this the same Amendment that would force businesses to allow trannies into the bathroom they identify with rather than set their own bathroom policy?
Schlafly won the battle over the ERA by recruiting and organizing a dedicated and effective group of women activists at the state and local levels. I knew several of them at the time. Like Schlafly, they combined feminine grace, courage, hard work, and political shrewdness. And after defeating the ERA, they went on to provide essential grass-roots support for Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. Not bad for a group often dismissed by opponents and the news media as a bunch of nutty, worked up housewives.
Elections have consequences.
Hypothetically speaking, if after an election, both Houses of Congress have two-thirds majority lawmakers that made campaign promises to kill an amendment to the Constitution passed by the previous session of Congress for example, then the people have spoken imo. Kill the proposed amendment.
Also, citizens dont need equal rights protections beyond the 15th and 19th voting rights Amendments imo.
Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."
by the way, is your book out yet?
She won the ERA battle, but did Schlafly lose the war? Today feminism advanced anyway even without the ERA. They passed state amendments and passed legislation that largely achieved the same thing. Gender roles are eroding away. Women are the breadwinner in 40% of households now. Women are pushing for combat roles in the armed forces. Gay marriage is legal. Abortion is legal.
All of Schlafys worries about the ERA happened anyway. Even though it was defeated.
That's not how the Article V process works.
When an amendment proposal is approved by the two Houses of Congress by at least a two thirds vote of each House, a Joint Resolution of Congress is passed by a majority vote. The joint resolution determines whether the proposed amendment is to be ratified by state legislatures or by state ratifying conventions. [Note: We've only used state ratifying conventions twice in our history, once to ratify the Constitution itself, and again to ratify the 21st Amendment to get our booze back.] Once the Joint Resolution is passed, Congress steps out of the equation. From that point on, the proposed amendment belongs to the states for an up-or-down ratification vote using the method prescribed by Congress.
Congress cannot go back and "kill" an amendment it has already passed to the states for ratification. The only way to "kill" an amendment is the method used by Ms. Schlafly: start a campaign to get legislatures to vote "no" on ratification.
She was right well before the transgenderism made it even worse.
Unfortunately, liberals have arguments for bringing it back, such as several states ratifying it recently to offset others that repealed it.
Schlafly was the true “Feminist”.
Nothing feminine about those other feminists.
It does if modified to include “gender identity” instead of just “biological sex”.
Not sure why you would say that in light of the fact that there are Leftist forces out there trying to resurrect it where it left off without forcing the advocates to start from scratch.
Yes, that would be unconstitutional, but it hasn’t stopped the Left in any way in anything.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg told the crazies of the Left to give up on reviving it. She indicated that neither she nor anyone else on the Court would countenance an attempt to revive the ERA after 40 years. It’s dead, and it’s not coming back.
I have had Phyllis Schlafly on my Freep page as one of my heroes for about 15 years now.
The woman had it all in spades. I miss her having my back as a conservative.
Without her voice, I could see a BS ERA amendment being passed today.
Easily. And that bothers me.
I don’t trust the Supreme Court at all to protect the Constitution, though it is better now than it was in recent history, that’s for sure.
Yeah I know. I just dont believe her. Shes a radical leftist and feminist, so her word can be trusted about as far as that goes.
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