Democrats Push Vote Next Week on ERA That Makes Killing Babies in Abortions a Constitutional Right

National   |   Steven Ertelt, Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 6, 2020   |   1:47PM   |   Washington, DC

Congressional Democrats are pushing for a vote next week in the House on the ERA, legislation that would turn killing babies in abortions into a Constitutional right. The so-called Equal Rights Amendment would also invalidate every single pro-life law across the country that protects babies from abortions and has driven abortion figures to historic lows.

The National Right to Life Committee is urging pro-life advocates to call their House member and urge a no vote on the legislation.

“Trampling over constitutional requirements, the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 12 or 13 will bring to the House floor a resolution that – if the federal courts allow it – inserts the 1972 “Equal Rights Amendment” (ERA) into the U.S. Constitution,” it told pro-life Americans in an action alert.

It continued: “The resolution (House Joint Resolution 79, or H.J. Res. 79) is intended to nullify the 7-year ratification deadline that Congress attached to the ERA, which expired in 1979 — thereby allowing recognition of recent “ratifications” by Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia, and inviting a declaration that the ERA is part of the U.S. Constitution.”

NRLC added: “Pro-life legal experts fear, and pro-abortion leaders proclaim, that the ERA would entrench “abortion rights” in the constitutional text forever, and would result in the invalidation of hundreds of state laws protecting unborn children or regulating abortion — based on the legal argument that these laws affect men and women differently, and therefore violate the ERA.”

Last month, Virginia officially became the 38th and final state needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Monday, putting the rights of unborn babies in jeopardy.

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 good news is that the deadline passed nearly 40 years ago, and court challenges already have been filed. Several other states also voted to ratify the amendment past the deadline, and still others voted to rescind their ratification votes.

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According to WTOP, the Virginia ratification resolution now goes to the National Archives and Records Administration, which is in charge of adding constitutional amendments.

The U.S. Department of Justice decided that the deadline has long passed and the amendment is dead, and the National Archives is expected to follow that legal opinion unless otherwise directed by a court order.

“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,” the DOJ stated.

Congress has the authority to set a deadline for ratifying a constitutional amendment under Article V of the U.S. Constitution. According to DOJ, 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.”

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.

A leading pro-life group told LifeNews it is sorely disappointed the legislature approved the pro-abortion ERA.

The Family Foundation is extremely disappointed that a majority of the General Assembly played along in this charade pretending to pursue an illegitimate ratification process of the so-called Equal Rights Amendment.

“The fact that a female Speaker of the House and female Senate Pro Tempore didn’t need the ERA to rise to their current positions of power is more evidence that the ERA is simply not unnecessary. Strong, successful women don’t need an outdated, vague brochure bill to be successful. The legislation passed today will not help a single woman,” said Victoria Cobb. “If the ERA were somehow deemed legally valid, the true impact its passage would be to roll back the gains made by women in employment and athletics and cement legal abortion into the US Constitution.”

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.

In December, Alabama, Louisiana and South Dakota filed a lawsuit challenging the ratification of the ERA. South Dakota is one of the states that rescinded its ratification of the ERA – and it did so within the deadline, according to the lawsuit.

ACTION ALERT: Call both the Washington, D.C. and local office of your U.S. House member – urge him or her to oppose the ERA and to oppose House Joint Resolution 79.You can obtain both the Washington, D.C. and home-district office phone numbers of your House member on the NRLC Legislative Action Center website – simply enter your zip code where it says “Find Your Elected Officials.” You can also reach the D.C. offices by calling the Capitol Switchboard, 202-225-3121, and giving your zip code.