In a mindboggling sham show on Tuesday, Democrats defended the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) during a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing. With two Democratic congresswomen, one ERA activist, and one liberal celebrity, the argument was stacked in Democrats’ favor. Even the professor who supposedly represented the opposition expressed her support for the substance of the amendment, just not the legal process that ERA activists are using.
That raises the question, then: Where is the equal representation for the majority of women? Mothers, unborn children, women in the workplace, female students, athletes, widows, women in the military, abused women, and incarcerated women were not represented. Creating a courts-determined sex-neutral society, as this proposed constitutional amendment demands, would erase significant social and legal benefits that each of these women receives.
Abortion would become a right enshrined into the Constitution, and taxpayers would be forced to pay for them. The state cases of N.M Right to Choose/NARAL v. Johnson and Doe v. Maher both used their state ERAs to uphold taxpayer funding of elective abortions. If the ERA were added to our Constitution, the Hyde Amendment that prohibits federal funding of abortions would also be null and void.
Mothers would no longer enjoy female-only nursing rooms, which would either be opened to men or eliminated altogether.
The federal and state programs that help women at their most vulnerable would be eliminated, and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits for single and low-income mothers would be done away with. The current federal WIC law serves pregnant women and mothers of young children since women are considered small children’s primary caregivers. Passing the ERA would void this program on the basis of sex discrimination. Do we really want America to become a completely sex-neutral society that sees no purpose in helping and protecting specifically women as they care for infants?
Women would lose flexible work benefits that give them the freedom of maternity leave to raise their children. That’s because women are the primary recipients of family leave benefits, which would be considered discriminatory under the ERA. If all employers were forced to provide the same amount of leave benefits to both men and women, despite their differing biological needs for them, businesses are most likely to deal with this cost increase through cuts to paychecks or other benefits.
Female students in public schools and colleges would lose their privacy rights by being subjected to sex-neutral bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. They certainly would not be able to enjoy the sisterhood of sororities on campus. Female athletes would be subjected to the same loss of privacy, but there will be fewer of them. Men will easily overtake sports after such integration based on their physical abilities.
Women would be required to register for Selective Service, and those already enlisted would be sent into combat situations. Our front lines would have to have equal representation of men and women under the ERA. Subjecting our military women to dangerous situations that they are largely unprepared for will only weaken our nation’s military readiness.
Women-only institutions such as women’s shelters and women’s correctional facilities would have to open their doors to dangerous men, further traumatizing women with abusive pasts.
Democrats have tried to erase these arguments of ERA opponents, just like they are trying to erase women altogether with this legislation. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D–TX) said, “If we began this all over again, this would implode the 35 states we already have, because now, more are attuned to the arguments. There will be a mountain of opposition.” Are the ERA proponents afraid of public disclosure on the harmful effects of the ERA?
Pro-family leader Phyllis Schlafly tirelessly educated the public about the dangers of the ERA. After Congress passed the ERA in 1972, it was ratified by 30 states within the first year. Once lawmakers and the American people were aware of the truth, progress slowed significantly, with only five additional states passing it before the deadline in 1979. Additionally, five states rescinded or withdrew their ratification. The ERA was defeated simply because the facts were exposed.
All liberty-loving Americans should oppose the ERA, not just for the reasons above and others, but also because of its second section: “Congress shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this article.” Unlike other amendments to the Constitution, which limit the power and scope of the federal government, the ERA instructs the federal government to take more power: “Congress shall.”
The ERA would overturn countless state laws and demand that the federal government enforce complete sex neutrality in all aspects, including family law, criminal law, education, and insurance rates. States would lose even more of their power and authority under this proposed constitutional amendment.
If the House wants a hearing on the ERA, then the Democratic leaders should offer equal opportunity to all and not discriminate against the millions of women who oppose this socially destructive idea.