Why Concerned Women for America of Virginia Rejects the ERA
- Women do not need the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to flourish in America. “Women today are in a golden era. Never before have we had the opportunities and liberty to pursue happiness that we currently enjoy.” – Penny Nance, President of Concerned Women for America
- The 14th Amendment to the Constitution and multiple federal and state statutes guarantee women all the rights inherent to American citizens — equal employment, equal pay, education, credit eligibility, housing, public accommodations, etc. – and women are thriving and succeeding as in no other time in history. They have done this without the assistance of ERA.
- ERA would dismantle the gains women have made: including Title IX. Men would have every right to challenge the special programs that women have gained in promoting their opportunities.
- Despite claims of protecting women’s interests, ERA would actually undercut protections that currently exist based on the fundamental differences between the sexes. ERA prohibits enactment of any law that imposes a rule or condition that applies to one sex and not to the other. As such, it would threaten myriad such laws: special accommodations for pregnant women in the workforce and the military; government programs such as Women, Infants and Children (WIC); Social Security benefits for stay-at-home mothers based on their husbands’ income; exemption for women from the military draft and front-line combat; criminal protections via the Violence Against Women Act; and on and on.
- ERA empowers courts, not women. Because the language is so vague, courts would be called upon to interpret its application to innumerable situations – some of which were not even contemplated in the 1970s, such as the meaning of “sex.” Thus, citizens’ right to govern themselves on contentious present-day issues would be usurped by unaccountable federal courts.
- Unlike in the 1970s, ERA would be used to impose the most radical consequences of the “gender revolution,” which allows men to declare themselves women and vice versa. Warnings from the 1970s that ERA would threaten privacy and safety protections for women and girls in restrooms, locker rooms, etc., were dismissed as alarmist nonsense. Under ERA, the privacy, safety and rights of women would be compromised in gender neutral policies. Already we are seeing these threats as special protections based on gender identity supersede the safety, privacy and rights of women.
- ERA would almost certainly cement a federal right to expanded, taxpayer-funded abortion access. Members of Big Abortion (including the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League and Planned Parenthood) have long argued in court filings that state-level ERAs guarantee a right to abort children with public funding, and state supreme courts in Connecticut and New Mexico have agreed with this interpretation.
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