Will the Equal Rights Amendment become part of the Constitution? Experts say it's possible since the deadline for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was eliminated Feb. 13.
Many in the conservative Christian community are not happy that the measure passed. They say the proposed amendment would actually remove protections for women and could lead to the government having to pay for abortions.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 232-183 to remove the deadline in an attempt to revive the amendment, which was originally proposed in the 1920s and adopted by Congress in the 1970s. Five Republicans voted in support of the measure, as did all Democrats, according to NPR.
The ERA states: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
Democrats have pointed out that all constitutions created since the 1950s include an equivalent to the ERA.
"It's more than time," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), sponsor of H.J. Res. 79 (116), tells Politico. "It's almost laughable that we are one of only a handful of countries in the entire world to not have this in our Constitution. What are we afraid of?"
But many Republicans believe that instead of protecting women's rights, the ERA would actually remove them by eliminating vital distinctions of sex. To shed light on this issue, Charisma News interviewed Concerned Women for America (CWA) President Penny Nance.
The CWA was founded by the late Beverly LaHaye in 1978 out of concern that the proposed ERA would eradicate legal distinctions of gender and eliminate protections for women.
Read Charisma News' Q&A with Nance below:
Why are you and other conservatives concerned about the Equal Rights Amendment?
The ERA is a misguided attempt to erase sex distinctions in law through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While men and women already have equal standing under the Constitution, we are not the same, and our laws in appropriate ways should continue to reflect that fact—whether it be in allowing for sex-specific spaces, encouraging women in business, accommodating mothers in the workplace, prohibiting sex discrimination in education and sports under Title IX, and in military service. Of further concern is that state-level ERAs have been interpreted to require full taxpayer funding of abortion since procedures for men, like prostate surgery, have no restriction. Pro-abortion advocates are advertising that the ERA would "reinforce the constitutional right to abortion."
Why are Democrats pushing so hard for this amendment?
Democrats appear to see the ERA as a rallying point for political division that they believe elevates them as the "pro-woman" party. Yet they have no defense for how the ERA, which would erase distinctions on account of sex in law, would actually devalue the status of women today. The intensity in their agenda today is reflective of the radical notion that abortion should be legal at any point, any reason and any number, all paid for by the taxpayer. Framing the issue around equality for women is convenient but false.
What do you see God doing in this political situation?
This has certainly given believers an opportunity to give voice to cultural conversations and debates about life, the purpose of His creation of men and women, and the purpose and order behind the constitutional republic in which we live that has been ordained and sustained by His grace.
How are you and CWA taking a stand against the ERA?
We have engaged political leaders through education and advocacy efforts in state legislatures and the Congress, and worked to educate our members and the public through online communications and the media. We have joined with other organizations in coalition to directly and thoughtfully oppose the ERA. Women must take leadership on this issue or we will see further victimization of unborn babies and loss of over 800 laws designed to protect women.
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