Virginia Senate Committee Passes ERA That Would Force Virginians to Pay for Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 10, 2020   |   11:46AM   |   Richmond, VA

Ignoring a deadline that ended more than three decades ago, a Virginia Senate Committee advanced a measure Thursday to ratify the pro-abortion Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution.

The AP reports the committee voted 10-5 in favor of the ERA, including nine Democrats and one Republican, state Sen. Jill Vogel.

The vote happened just days after the U.S. Department of Justice said the ERA is dead because the 1982 deadline set by Congress has passed.

The ERA would amend the U.S. Constitution to guarantee equal rights for all born citizens no matter what their sex is. Though the intent seems good on the surface, pro-life leaders long have warned that abortion activists would use the amendment to destroy the limited protections that America provides to unborn babies. Under the amendment, even widely-supported abortion regulations such as the partial-birth abortion ban and parental consent for minors could be overturned. It also could force taxpayers to pay for abortions, something polls consistently show most Americans oppose.

On Thursday, pro-life women leaders rallied against the ERA in Virginia, according to Capital News Service.

Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, warned that the language in the amendment is vague and could be interpreted to allow abortion on demand. She said she believes women already have achieved equality, according to the report.

“Today I am different than men and yet equal under the U.S. Constitution, and Virginia Constitution and Virginia laws,” Cobb said.

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Students for Life regional coordinator Stephanie Stone also raised concerns that abortion activists will use the amendment to end all protections for babies in the womb, the report continues.

On its website, the pro-abortion group NARAL said the ERA would “reinforce the constitutional right to abortion by clarifying that the sexes have equal rights, which would require judges to strike down anti-abortion laws because they violate both the constitutional rights to privacy and sexual equality.”

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice said it is too late for states to ratify the amendment.

“We conclude that Congress had the constitutional authority to impose a deadline on the ratification of the ERA and, because that deadline has expired, the ERA Resolution is no longer pending before the States,” it stated.

The DOJ cited statute 1 U.S.C. § 106b, which says that Congress has the authority to set a deadline for ratifying a Constitutional amendment. According to the DOJ, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Congress’s authority to impose the deadline as well.

However, pro-abortion Democrats, who now control the Virginia legislature, are pushing ahead with the ERA anyway. Virginia would become the 38th and final state needed to ratify the amendment.

Here’s more from the local news:

When the 2020 General Assembly convened Wednesday, Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn, D-Fairfax, said in opening remarks “this House will pass the Equal Rights Amendment.” …

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, D-Prince William, believes the DOJ legal counsel’s opinion will not stop the ERA’s progress.

“I am more than confident that this is just another effort by people who want to stop progress and who don’t believe in women’s equality,” Carroll Foy said.

“And this is another one of their concerted efforts to deny us fundamental rights and equal protections. But the time has come; we are unrelenting. We will not be deterred, and we will have our full constitutional equality.”

U.S. Congress set a seven-year deadline for the ratification of the amendment, but it ended in 1982. Some pro-abortion lawmakers have ignored the deadline and passed the amendment anyway, including the Nevada legislature in 2017 and Illinois in 2018.

Meanwhile, several other states rescinded their ratification of the ERA.

If Virginia does ratify the ERA, a court challenge is almost certain.

ACTION ALERT: Contact Virginia state senators and urge them to oppose the ERA.