At the Democratic presidential debates this week, several of the candidates said that ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment was a top priority.

Let’s review why the American people rejected ERA 37 years ago today: because ERA would create a sex-neutral society that would erase women.

Phyllis Schlafly and her volunteer army of Eagles in Eagle Forum led the fight to stop this bad amendment to the U.S. Constitution then, and the same arguments apply now. 

  • ERA would not give any rights to women, but would take away rights that women enjoy.
  • Female students in public schools and higher education institutions will lose their privacy rights by being subjected to gender-neutral bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. They certainly would not be able to enjoy the sisterhood of sororities and female-only groups on campuses.
  • Female athletes will be subjected to the same loss of privacy, but there will be fewer of them. Men will easily overtake sports after such integration based on their physical abilities. 
  • Women will be required to register for selective service, and those already enlisted will be sent into combat situations. Subjecting our military women to a dangerous situation for which they are largely unprepared will only weaken our nation’s military readiness. Although the military is now voluntary to join, anyone in the military must obey orders. Our front lines would have to have equal representation of men and women under ERA.
  • Abortion would become a right enshrined into the Constitution, and taxpayers would be forced to pay.
  • All liberty-loving Americans should oppose ERA, because of ERA’s second section: “Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” Unlike other amendments to the Constitution, which limit the power and scope of the federal government, ERA instructs the federal government to take more power: “Congress shall.” ERA would over-turn countless state laws and demand that the federal government enforce complete sex neutrality in all aspects, including family law, criminal law, education, and insurance rates. States would lose much of their power and authority, and our federalist system of government would become virtually meaningless under ERA.
Listen to Phyllis Schlafly declare victory on June 30, 1982 at the end of the ten-year deadline set by Congress. Eagle Forum President Eunie Smith and Chairman Anne Schlafly Cori attended that historic celebration in Washington, D.C.

Anne well remembers the anger and ugliness of the supporters of ERA. CBS’s “Cagney and Lacey” scheduled a drama for that very night showing the attempted assassination of her mother, Phyllis Schlafly, during a political speech. A bomb threat was also made. “My mother held her cool and the dinner was a spectacular success. I was grateful that CBS chose not to air their attack on conservative women.”

According to Eunie, “Everyone had to exit the huge ballroom while it was swept for a bomb and then everyone calmly returned for the celebration.  It included a congratulatory letter from President Ronald Reagan and personal comments by three U.S. Senators and three Congressmen, a Cabinet official, two of the brave state senators, three generals, journalists and leaders of the pro-family movement who are listed below. I also remember the refrain sung by talented Eagles Bill and Prudence Fields to kick off our evening to the tune of 'Over the Rainbow'.” 

We are linking for you Phyllis’ inspired closing remarks in which she recounted crazy antics of some ERA proponents and their incredibly intimidating tactics. Lamenting ERA’s defeat, the Chicago Tribune admitted, “ERA failed because its backers were out organized, out thought, out politicized and out prayed.” “We do accept that,” said Phyllis. “Out across America, there are hundreds of public officials who literally cannot be bought at any price. … we had enough of them to do the job.”  

Will you join with us to support and recruit public officials who want “to do the job” today to protect our Constitutional Republic from current unisex schemes?

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Mike Scruggs