Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

Oppose the Ratification of the Pro-Abortion and Unconstitutional 1972 ERA in Louisiana


 Action Needed!
Ask Your Legislator: Please Oppose the ERA!

LA Right to Life has sent a letter to every legislator urging them to oppose the ERA.  Now, we need you to reinterate this message by contacting your legislators and telling them:

           "Please oppose any attempt to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Louisiana. 
                          If passed, every pro-life law in Louisiana would be in jeopardy!"
 
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Louisiana Right to Life strongly opposes any effort by the Louisiana Legislature to pass a resolution supporting or ratifying the Federal Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)* that was submitted to the states in 1972 because of its abortion connection and its unconstitutional nature.

  1. The ERA-Abortion Connection:  For years, pro-abortion groups have used the ERA successfully as a tool in state Supreme Courts to invalidate laws that treat abortion differently from other “medical procedures.”

    For example, in 1998, every justice on the New Mexico Supreme Court agreed that the state ERA, adopted by NM in 1973, made it unconstitutional for the state Medicaid program to refuse to fund abortions if procedures sought by men (e.g., prostate surgery) are funded.  Thus, the ERA forced the citizens of New Mexico to fund abortions through their tax dollars.

    If the ERA passes in Louisiana, every pro-life law on the books in Louisiana would be in jeopardy, including parental consent and restrictions on tax-payer funding of abortion.

  2. The 1972 ERA is Dead: Any current resolution being proposed to ratify the ERA in Louisiana would be unconstitutional since the Supreme Court has already ruled that the 1972 ERA is no longer viable due to its past expiration date.

    Details: The original 1972 federal ERA amendment contained a seven-year deadline for ratification, which expired in 1979 with only 35 of the necessary 38 state legislatures having acted to ratify.  Congress then passed a resolution that purported to extend the deadline to 1982, but when this second "deadline" arrived, no new states had ratified.

    Subsequently, a federal district court ruled that the deadline extension was unconstitutional.  When that ruling was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Acting Solicitor General of the U.S. wrote a memorandum explaining that the ERA was no longer viable, and in 1982, the Supreme Court agreed, dismissing the case as moot (see the Attorney General’s memorandum along with the 1982 Supreme Court decision referenced above).

    In 1983 the majority leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives (then Democratic) also recognized that the 1972 ERA was dead by proposing that the same ERA language be sent out to the states again.  However, the House voted down this ERA because sponsors would not allow consideration of the abortion-neutral amendment and a women-in-combat amendment.

    In short, any attempt to ratify the ERA through the "three-state strategy" (the theory that only three states are needed to ratify the 1972 ERA) is an unconstitutional "resurrection resolution," part of an effort to evade the requirements for amending the U.S. Constitution that are spelled out in the Constitution itself.

    Such "resurrection resolutions" have been proposed in multiple states over the past 15 years, but not a single state legislature has adopted one. After the above facts were presented at a public hearing on a similar resolution in the Arkansas House during 2007, 20 cosponsors withdrew their co-sponsorship, and the resolution was voted down in committee.

    •    Click to download the 1982 Attorney General Memorandum and Supreme Court Decision declaring the 1972 ERA no longer viable.
    •    Find more details, see National Right to Life’s ERA website.
*Please note: Louisiana Right to Life, along with National Right to Life, supports the addition of abortion-neutral language ("Nothing in this article [the ERA] shall be construed to grant, secure, or deny any right relating to abortion or the funding thereof.") to any future Federal amendment similar to the ERA.  However, the ERA as anticipated in this Louisiana Legislative Session can only be the text provided by Congress in 1972 if the authors intend for Louisiana to be one of the “three states” to ratify the ERA.  Because of this, the Louisiana Legislature can only vote on the 1972 ERA, which is inherently pro-abortion and must be opposed.