Equal Rights Amendment hurts women - both born and unborn



The 2019 Virginia General Assembly session starts January 9th.  We are seeing an increasing push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), used by pro-abortion advocates in other states to require tax-payer funded abortions. Act now to stop these efforts!
The ERA at first glance appears to be a neutral measure advocating for the equality of women which is a worthy endeavor; however, the ambiguity of the language disguises significant negative consequences and legal uncertainty particularly when it comes to protecting the unborn. Legal protections for women are already found in both the U.S. Constitution and state laws, including the Virginia Equal Pay Act.  Moreover, the ERA's ratification deadline passed over 30 years ago, rendering it legally moot. 
Your help is urgently needed to act now stop the effortsto enshrine abortion rights in the U.S. Constitution and to educate others on the reality of the ERA.
The ERA originally passed Congress in 1972, requiring the ratification of 38 states by 1979 to become part of the U.S. Constitution.  However, only 35 of the required 38 states ratified the ERA timely. Additionally, 5 of the original 35 states have actually rescinded ratification. Congress granted an extension for ratification to 1982, which was ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court in 1981 and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court. On October 4, 1982, in the case of NOW v. Idaho, the Supreme Court dismissed it as moot, stating, "[T]he amendment has failed of adoption no matter what the resolution of the legal issues presented here," because the ERA had not received the required number of ratifications. Despite these holdings, the ERA movement was recently revived resulting in the ratifications by two additional states, most recently by Illinois this past year.
Despite the ERA failing to gain the 38 states needed within the allotted time-frame, advocates for the ERA are ignoring this fact and advocating for Virginia to become the 38th state, which will open the floodgate for litigation.
Leading pro-abortion groups - including NARAL, ACLU and Planned Parenthood - have utilized the ERA, where the language has been adopted into state constitutions, as a tool to invalidate any laws that treat abortion differently from other "medical procedures," including laws restricting tax-payer funding of abortions, third-trimester or partial-birth abortion bans, and laws requiring parental consent for minors' abortions. New Mexico is one example where pro-abortion groups (NARAL and Planned Parenthood) arguments succeeded, and the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled, on the basis of its state ERA, that denial of taxpayer funding for abortions is "sex discrimination" thereby requiring taxpayer funded abortions.
Additionally, if the ERA were enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, legal challenges and uncertainty would arise over the treatment of shelters for battered women, women's sports, accommodations for pregnant women in the workplace, prisons, etc.  Furthermore, courts and Congress would be empowered to define and enact measures protecting "sex" and "equality of rights," potentially resulting in religious liberty and conscience protections threats based upon traditional views of marriage and human sexuality.
The most direct threat is the ambiguity of the ERA language on abortion, and the lack of abortion neutral language, that leaves open significant concerns over the future of the unborn.      
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Act, Testify, Spread the Word!
Please act now to voice your opposition to Virginia's ratification of the ERA as currently drafted. If you have the means to come to Richmond to testify, please contact office@vacatholic.org for further information.
Please spread the word and get involved.  Your witness is vital to educating your neighbors and legislators about the dangers behind the ERA!

Please spread this alert - every voice matters! Thank you for standing with us.

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In prayer and in public, your voices are urgently needed to bring Gospel values to bear on vital decisions being made by those who represent you.



The Virginia Catholic Conference is the public policy agency representing Virginia's Catholic bishops and their two dioceses.