The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List is leading a new charge against liberals’ attempts to enact the Equal Rights Amendment, with the next skirmish coming over House Democrats‘ proposal to eliminate the deadline for ratification.
House Democrats have proposed a resolution removing the deadline for ratification of the amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
SBA List sent lawmakers a letter on Monday noting that it would score votes on the effort to remove the deadline and give such votes twice as much weight as other votes in determining the grades that the group gives to lawmakers and candidates for office. The pro-life group’s scorecard influences pro-life voters’ decisions and its own thinking about how to marshal its network of 900,000 grassroots activists and funds.
“We stand absolutely opposed to any attempt to revive the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would enshrine a right to abortion into the United States Constitution. Votes will be scored, and double-weighted, in each member’s profile on the SBA List National Pro-Life Scorecard,” wrote Marjorie Dannenfelser, SBA List president, in the letter to lawmakers. “Even the most egregious laws and regulations can be rolled back eventually, but a constitutional amendment would indefinitely block state and federal legislation to protect the unborn.”
The Equal Rights Amendment, proposed by Congress in 1972, gave states until 1979 to ratify it. The threshold of three-fourths of states necessary for ratification was not met before that deadline, and a later extension did not yield the necessary number of states either.
The proposed amendment stated, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Later efforts to ratify the amendment after the deadline have failed. Virginia, which argued that it was the key state required for ratification, lost its case earlier this month because of the judge’s ruling that the deadline had passed.
Realizing that the deadline is the final impediment in their way, Democrats moved quickly after capturing control of the White House and Congress to scrap the barrier. On the day after President Biden’s inauguration, Rep. Jackie Speier, California Democrat, introduced a joint resolution in the House to strip the deadline for ratification and earned more than 190 initial co-sponsors.
“Emboldened by the Biden-Harris administration, radical Democrats will stop at nothing to enshrine abortion on demand in our Constitution,” Ms. Dannenfelser said in a statement. “Abortion is the greatest violation of human rights today — the antithesis of equality. Our decision to weigh this vote more heavily reflects the devastating impact the ERA would have on generations of unborn children and mothers, as well as the pro-life movement that exists to advocate for them.”
The House‘s proposal was referred to the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the constitution earlier this month.