Democrats Sue to Force U.S. to Ratify ERA, Allowing Unlimited Abortions Up to Birth

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 30, 2020   |   4:18PM   |   Washington, DC

Three pro-abortion Democrat leaders filed a lawsuit this week to force the United States to ratify the pro-abortion Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution.

The lawsuit comes from the attorneys general of Virginia, Illinois and Nevada, all of which voted to ratify the amendment long past U.S. Congress’s 1982 deadline, the AP reports.  Virginia became the 38th and final state needed to ratify the ERA on Monday.

The constitutional amendment appears to be simple. It states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” But pro-life leaders say the language could be used to end all abortion restrictions, even common-sense laws such as parental consent for minors and the partial-birth abortion ban. It also could force taxpayers to pay for abortions, something most Americans oppose.

The Department of Justice recently said the ERA cannot be added to the U.S. Constitution because of the long-past deadline. National Archivist David Ferriero, whose agency is in charge of adding amendments to the Constitution, said he will follow the DOJ decision.

The lawsuit filed by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul would force him to ratify it anyway, according to the AP.

In the lawsuit, they argued that the deadline is not binding because Congress did not include it in the text of the amendment article to the states, according to the report. Additionally, they claimed the archivist does not have the authority to reject an amendment.

“After generations of effort, the women of this country are entitled to their rightful place in the Constitution. This Court should compel the Archivist to carry out his statutory duty of recognizing the complete and final adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment,” the lawsuit says, according to the AP.

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But theirs is not the only lawsuit. In December, Alabama, Louisiana and South Dakota filed a lawsuit arguing against the ratification of the ERA. South Dakota is one of several states that rescinded its ratification, and it did so within the deadline, according to the lawsuit.

U.S. Congress set a seven-year deadline for the ratification of the amendment and later extended it, but the deadline 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.

The Department of Justice said Congress has the authority to set a deadline for ratifying a constitutional amendment under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. In its opinion earlier this month, the DOJ noted that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Congress’s authority to impose a deadline as well.

The only constitutional avenue to adoption of an ERA would be to start over, a move that requires two-thirds approval in each house of Congress, followed by a new round of consideration by state legislatures.

Abortion advocacy groups have been lobbying for the amendment for decades. 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.”

Pro-ERA advocacy groups are already proclaiming that the Virginia legislature’s action will be the successful culmination of decades of struggle for constitutional “equality.”

However, there are many who find these claims implausible.

“This is an attempt to air-drop into the Constitution a sweeping provision that could be used to attack any federal, state, or local law or policy that in any way limits abortion — abortion in the final months, partial-birth abortion, abortions on minors, government funding of abortion, conscience-protection laws, you name it,” said Douglas D. Johnson, who directed National Right to Life’s ERA-related efforts during his years as federal legislative director and continues to do so today as NRL senior policy advisor.

“Pro-abortion advocates have been unable to accomplish their goal by the amendment process provided in Article V of the Constitution – their proposal expired unratified 40 years ago — so they are attempting to accomplish it through a brazen political campaign, dressed up in legal terminology,” Johnson said.