Editor’s note. Last week, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a measure which (as NRLC explained) “purported to reanimate the Equal Rights Amendment approved by the 92nd Congress in 1972.” There were brilliant voices speaking against H.J. Res. 79. We have been reposting them all week. The following comes from Rep. Virginia Fox (R-NC).
Ms. FOXX of North Carolina.
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Georgia for yielding time.
Madam Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.J. Res. 79.
As a woman who has worked all her life, often in male-dominated professions, I detest discrimination in any form against any group, and I have always done all that I can to eliminateit. Furthermore, I welcome any discussion on how to root out discrimination against women where it exists.
But do not be deceived. This is not what this legislation is about.
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution already provides women and all Americans equal protection under the law, but the goal of this legislation is different. The goal here is to expand access to abortion up to birth and to overturn the broadly supported policies that protect taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortions. As we know all too well, Roe v. Wade has broadly legalized abortion in the United States, but the equal rights amendment that this resolution tries to ratify goes much further.
There is a broad consensus that the ERA could be used to overturn pro-life laws, legalize abortion up to birth, and mandate taxpayer-funded abortions.The expansion of abortion is not the only harmful impact of the ERA. It would have a harmful impact on shelters that protect women from violence, eliminate women-specific workplace protections, and destroy women’s sports.
Furthermore, were this resolution ever to become law, the Supreme Court would undoubtedly rule that it does not ratify the equal rights amendment.
As everyone in this room knows, when Congress initially passed the equal rights amendment, it intentionally included a 7-year deadline for the required 38 States to ratify, a deadline which has long since passed. Multiple States have also rescinded their ratification.
As such, Supreme Court precedent requires that any attempt to ratify the ERA must start at the beginning. Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was recently quoted saying she would like the process to start over.
To be perfectly clear, with this resolution, the Democrats are attempting to write into the Constitution the right to an abortion at all three trimesters, force taxpayers to pay for them, and eliminate all conscience protections for medical providers who wish to abstain from abortion.
This resolution is not about protecting women. It is a partisan messaging bill designed to appease radical pro-abortion groups. If the majority were serious about the equal rights amendment, it would start the process anew and give all States the option to consider the ERA again.