Why am I bringing my ERA YES sign to the Women’s March on reproductive rights October 2. I was asked by a twenty year old.
Here we go again removing women’s rights – always. The Women’s March for reproductive rights on October 2 – or actually Marches – are to protest and warn against the recent Texas law banning Texas women from ending pregnancies when six weeks past their last menstrual period.
Fact: laws slip and slide. Every legislative session we feminists, both female and male, have to be ever vigilant just to keep what rights women and girls have. We work to stop laws enacted that will discriminate against women – a majority of the population, and often that also include discrimination against other minority groups.
How do we end up with this discrimination? This inequality of power in our societal structure? Virginia Senator Jennifer McClellan said it succinctly and pointedly. To paraphrase her statement, in 1619 the Jamestown settlement had women and slaves as property and we have been painfully and slowly undoing it ever since.
This Texas law is mean. Particularly mean and disproportionately mean to poor women, women with children and working women or any combination of working, poor, with children. Mean and not even likely constitutional in setting up that any citizen in the US can sue other citizens or doctors trying to help a Texan resident trying to obtain an abortion after 6 weeks no matter what – even if life threatening to the pregnant person. Disrespectful of a woman deciding for herself whether to be pregnant or carry a pregnancy or to care for a child for the next several decades. We talk about freedom, liberty, equality. Where is it for women? Can we stop the back sliding?
Past Supreme Court Justice Scalia said and Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg agreed the constitution does not say you cannot discriminate against women. Courts have refused cases because of this.
I am convinced [these court cases are] not happening until women are clearly in the US Constitution – for more than just the right to vote. I believe that will set our societal norm.
Sure, a lot has improved during my lifetime for women and girls by change in laws and regulations – both of which can also change and reverse overnight! Whereas 3/4 of the states have ratified the equal rights amendment (ERA) as specified in Article 5 of the US Constitution as of January 27, 2020. Therefore we should already have US Constitutional Amendment 28.
We are asking and waiting for eight more votes in the US Senate to remove the question of a time limit on ERA. A time limit added in the 1972 preamble and not part of what was voted on by the 38 states. Article 5 puts no time limit. In the 1990s, Amendment 27 was passed more than 200 years after US Congress sent the amendment to be ratified to the states. We have ERA as the 28th; stop the excuses. 9 out of 10 people agree we should have equality in US Constitution.
This is why I am bringing my ERA YES sign to the Women’s March on reproductive rights October 2.
For justice and equality,
NOW Board Member