Virginia Senate Approves “Equal Rights Amendment” Forcing Virginians to Fund Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 17, 2019   |   12:10PM   |   Richmond, VA

The Virginia Senate approved a dangerous constitutional amendment Tuesday that could overturn basically every pro-life law in the United States.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) would amend the U.S. Constitution to guarantee equal rights for all born citizens no matter what their sex is. However, pro-life advocates long have warned that abortion activists would use the amendment to destroy the limited protections that America provides to unborn babies.

“The ERA, as currently written, would eliminate virtually every single regulation on abortion,” including the partial-birth abortion ban, according to the Virginia Society for Human Life. It also would force taxpayers to fund elective abortions.

The AP reports the Virginia Senate approved the amendment Tuesday with bipartisan support. The vote was 26 to 14, with seven Republicans joining Democrats to support it.

The legislation now moves to the Virginia House, where abortion activists are lobbying aggressively for lawmakers to pass it. The National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) rejoiced at the Senate vote Tuesday but implored abortion activists to contact House lawmakers.

“Virginia N.O.W. activists are currently working hard to convince the state’s House Republican leaders to bring the resolution out of committee,” the pro-abortion group stated. “N.O.W. will not rest until women achieve full equality, first with the constitutional protection of the ERA, and then across society in every sphere: social, economic and legal.”

In abortion activists’ minds, equality means women should be allowed to abort their unborn babies for any reason up to birth. If the amendment passes in Virginia, the ERA could be added to the U.S. Constitution and could force a radical pro-abortion agenda on all Americans. Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the ERA in 2018.

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Former state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli warned that unborn babies’ rights could be completely erased if the amendment is approved.

“Whatever else passage of the currently-worded ERA would do, it would immediately and successfully be used to undermine protections for the unborn and their pregnant mothers,” Cuccinelli wrote in a recent letter to state lawmakers. “There is no reason any person for whom protection of the unborn and their pregnant mothers is a priority to support the currently-worded ERA.”

There is a possibility the ERA would fail even if Virginia ratifies it. When the amendment first was introduced, Congress set a deadline of 1982 for final passage, and that deadline has long passed. A legal battle would be very likely if the amendment passes.

Former National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson previously talked with LifeNews.com about the ERA when the Arkansas state legislature defeated an attempt to ratify it in 2007.

He said the sweeping language of the 1972 ERA would be used as a legal weapon against virtually all laws that restrict and regulate abortions.

“In other states, major national pro-ERA organizations have argued that laws limiting tax-funded abortions or requiring parental consent for minors’ abortions violate ERAs,” Johnson explained.

Should the ERA be adopted, it would invalidate the federal Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions in Medicaid, and all state restrictions prohibiting tax-funded abortions. Likewise, it would nullify any federal or state restrictions on partial-birth abortions or third-trimester abortions (since these are sought “only by women”).

Johnson said laws that allow government-supported medical facilities and personnel — including religiously affiliated hospitals — to refuse to participate in abortions likely would be in jeopardy as well.

Action: Contact Virginia lawmakers.