The Equal Rights Amendment is Essential to US Democracy

The fight for gender equality in the United States is ongoing, and the 18th-century Constitution makes it difficult to achieve this goal. Despite meeting all Constitutional requirements for amendment set out in Article V, the ERA is still not ratified. The ERA has met all of the Constitutional requirements for amendment set out in Article V. It has been passed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress and ratified by 38 state legislatures. The time has come to overcome the remaining hurdles and permanently enshrine the ERA in the Constitution, where it belongs. The ERA guarantees gender equality under the law, and joining the ranks of every other democratic nation across the globe would help protect women's rights.

The Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization eliminated the constitutional right to abortion, and other rights, such as marriage equality, contraception, and same-sex intimacy, are also at risk. The ERA could provide a new textual basis for protecting these rights and anchoring them as a basic matter of equality and equal participation in society. The ERA offers an opportunity to rebuild a stronger constitutional foundation for our country and its people, prioritizing substantive equality over formal equality. This would empower lawmakers to address women's needs through legislation such as paid family leave and support systems.

The ERA has sparked new engagement at the state level, and lawmakers in Maine, Minnesota, and Vermont have taken steps toward amending their constitutions with ERAs that would protect and promote equality more robustly. The time limit for ratification imposed by Congress in 1972, which has no basis in the Constitution, should not stand in the way of the ERA now that it has been ratified by 38 states. With the midterm elections upon us, those who care about gender equality should support candidates who make the ERA a priority and contact elected officials about the importance of securing final ratification of the ERA. Expanding popular support for the ERA is also critical and can be accomplished through increasing civic engagement in our communities and sectors, engaging youth on the importance of the ERA, holding public conversations in educational institutions, libraries, town halls, and advocating for State ERAs and state ratifications of the federal ERA.

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