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Should the Equal Rights Amendment be added to the Constitution?

In 1972, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which aimed to give equal legal protection to all citizens, regardless of sex.  However, as of 2019, the ERA has yet to be added to the Constitution.  When sent to the states for ratification in 1982, only 35 out of the required 38 states ratified the ERA. Since then, after staying dormant for over 36 years, there has been a revival to pass the ERA.  In 2017, Nevada officially ratified the ERA and the following year, Illinois did as well.  In 2019, Virginia nearly became the 38th state to ratify, but the measure was rejected on the house floor.

Proponents of the ERA argue that the bill is a necessary safety net that would protect women from sex discrimination not covered by the 14th amendment.  They argue that the rhetoric of the 14th amendment (regarding sex) is too vague to prohibit cases of sex-based discrimination such as harassment, unequal pay, and domestic violence.

Opponents of the ERA argue that the amendment’s legal protections are unnecessary because they are already included in other legislation such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the 14th Amendment, and Title IX. They also argue that the federal legislation would limit state discretion over abortions, single-sex areas, (such as bathrooms and dormitories), and child custody procedures.

As of now, there are no legal protections in the Constitution that specifically prohibit discrimination based on sex.  What do you think? Should the Equal Rights Amendment be added to the Constitution?

Current Standings:
Yes: 55%
No: 45%
  • Kyle from California

    I believe the Equal Rights Amendment should be added to the Constitution because under God, it is morally wrong to put others down based on their social, racial, or religious status. Historically speaking, women and blacks were faced with many challenges throughout their life due to not having the rights that others had. All in all, I believe it is necessary to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution in order for the United States to rise up as one nation under God, as said in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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    I believe the Equal Rights Amendment should be added to the Constitution because under God, it is morally wrong to put others down based on their soci…

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  • jacquelyn from Virginia

    Although women face significantly less oppression than they did 50 years ago, sex bias still exists in forms like the Gender Pay Gap. I understand some people think this is a myth- even so, why would you be opposed to something that is only to put into law what “already exists”?

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    Although women face significantly less oppression than they did 50 years ago, sex bias still exists in forms like the Gender Pay Gap. I understand so…

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  • Rose from Ohio

    According to the Pew Research Center, 42% of working women in America have faced gender discrimination. Because of the nature of who founded our country and who wrote the constitution, women still do not have the same kind of equality men have: “among employed adults, women are about twice as likely as men (42% versus 22%) to say they have experienced at least one of eight specific forms of gender discrimination at work” (Pew Research Center). The equal rights amendment would try to combat this problem. Today, the only right the Constitution guarantees women and men equally is the right to vote. In addition, it would defend against reversing women’s rights such as Roe v. Wade.

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    According to the Pew Research Center, 42% of working women in America have faced gender discrimination. Because of the nature of who founded our count…

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  • Irlanda from Texas

    I believe it is important to stand up for what we believe in, so ratifying this amendment would be right thing to do due to the fact that the 14th amendment is not too clear when it comes to gender inequality. Even though this is a concept that is already accepted by society, some people still don’t follow it because it is not ensured by law, so I believe the best thing to do would be to pass it.

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    I believe it is important to stand up for what we believe in, so ratifying this amendment would be right thing to do due to the fact that the 14th ame…

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  • Sebastian from Virginia

    i believe that the 14th amendment is too vague when it comes to sex discrimination. I would say that the current situation is proof that not enough has been done to combat discrimination based on sex, ergo the 14th amendment cannot be sufficient.

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    i believe that the 14th amendment is too vague when it comes to sex discrimination. I would say that the current situation is proof that not enough ha…

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  • Gabrielle from Kentucky

    As a young woman, I strongly appose the ERA. The rights supporters of the ERA say that it would provide women are already rights that they have. Not only this, but the ERA would actually harm women. It would undermine the fact that women and men are biologically different. Perhaps the biggest problem with the ERA is that it includes abortion as a woman’s right and would further protect abortion under law. Abortion is not empowering for women, it harms them. Life begins at conception, this is a fact that 98% of scientists agree on. In addition, most women don’t find out they’re pregnant until about five or six weeks in, by which point the baby already has a heartbeat. By twelve weeks, the baby is fully formed. It looks like a baby, and all of it’s organs are there and growing and developing. The baby can feel pain. Abortion quite literally rips apart this baby, that can feel everything being done to them. Half of these babies are girls, which means that half of these babies are unborn women that are being violated in the place they are supposed to be safest, their mother’s womb. Abortion also harms the mother. Most women who have abortions are not informed of the horrible truth of what is happening to their baby and are not aware of the full extent of the procedure or the incredible risks that it presents. It is very easy for something to go wrong, and just a few of the risks include infection, bleeding, and puncture of the uterus. These can lead to infertility, or even death. Most women who get an abortion get one because they are forced to believe it’s their only option, whereas it isn’t. They are also almost never given the full picture of what it is they’re doing. In the end, this hurts women. The rest of the ERA is filled with things like this that people think will help women, but will actually hurt them.

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    As a young woman, I strongly appose the ERA. The rights supporters of the ERA say that it would provide women are already rights that they have. Not o…

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  • Caleb from Florida

    There are several reasons the Equal Rights Amendment should not be added to the Constitution. First of all, the deadline for ratification has already passed. This means that states should not be trying to ratify because time is up. Another reason it is not good to add is that the protections for women are already there. Women are citizens of the United States so every amendment that protects the right of a citizen applies to them. Saying that we need the Equal Rights Amendment is similar to saying that women have no rights under the Constitution. Women already have equal rights. The men and women of America should work together to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected through their actions.

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    There are several reasons the Equal Rights Amendment should not be added to the Constitution. First of all, the deadline for ratification has already …

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    • Ashley from Virginia

      I believe that the passage of the ERA is unnecessary. As many have already stated, the fourteenth amendment guarentees equal rights to all American citizens, including women. Placing stricter definitions on what the government enforces not only takes away power from our judicial branch when ruling on specific cases, but it also takes power away from the people and places even more in the hands of our legislative and executive departments. I think that to work towards gender equality, we simply need to educate society. I asked several of my friends today to give me examples of enterprising women, and the only three names I was giving were Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Michelle Obama. People need to be able to recognize strong, successful women just as frequently as they can name successful men. People need to understand that there is still a wage gap and an unbalance in the gender distribution in STEM and upper management jobs. They need to understand that even though we have improved greatly as a nation, we still have not fully achieved a balance of opportunity. We need to recognize the abilities of women to the same degree that we recognize those of men, but I feel that the solution should be greater education, and not stricter laws.

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      I believe that the passage of the ERA is unnecessary. As many have already stated, the fourteenth amendment guarentees equal rights to all American ci…

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  • Bill from Pennsylvania

    Since the 60’s everyone has had equal rights. While racism is still a thing it is already illegal to deny someone based off of gender and ethnicity. Therefore an amendment would be unnecessary for combating such.

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    Since the 60’s everyone has had equal rights. While racism is still a thing it is already illegal to deny someone based off of gender and ethnicity. T…

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  • Dominick from Pennsylvania

    If this amendment is passed, woman will lose many rights that are reserved for them. For example, if this is passed, woman will lose the right to alimony and to abstain from the draft. In addition, women lose the right to seek gender discrimination protection from their state and instead must rely on the distant federal government. One of the reasons some states did not pass the bill is from the fact that they will cede their powers to the ever widening federal government. Combined with the fact that the federal government is extremely fallible, why is this a better idea than allowing the states to judge gender discrimination? Further, passing this amendment essentially says that before this amendment was passed, men and women were never equal. This is a completely absurd notion that has profound consequences if made true. This would mean that any rights given to women before then were due to the generosity of men, not because the rights actually existed in the first place. If this is the case, then did not Americans have any rights between the Bill of Rights and the ratification of the Constitution? Therefore, it is easy to see that passing this amendment is absurd concept and actually is harmful for women’s status across America. That is why passing this amendment is not in fact supporting equal rights, but harming them.

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    If this amendment is passed, woman will lose many rights that are reserved for them. For example, if this is passed, woman will lose the right to ali…

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