One state down…two more to go.
In 1982, anti-women advocates were successful in derailing the ratification of the ERA by the expiration of imposed time limit for ratification. The ERA lost steam in state legislators and in public opinion, needing three more states to be ratification.
On March 21,2018, Nevada became the 36th state needed to ratify the amendment to the United States Constitution. Many of the same tired arguments against ratification were set forth by conservative critics such the amendment is not necessary because other laws provide equal protection, that having equal rights will help entrench abortion rights, threaten the family, and that the deadline that was imposed on the amendment has passed.
However, ERA advocates argued successfully that the ERA is about equality…not abortion rights. Giving women equal rights enhances the ability of women to support the foundation of the family with increased access to equal pay.
One of the arguments that is rarely made by advocates is women in the military. Women have always fought and died in men’s wars. The number of women who have died incident to their combat deployments from the Vietnam war to Iraq and Afghanistan is 170. These women did not ask if they had equal rights before they stepped into those combat theaters. They might not have known that they did not have equal rights under the most sacred law of our country, the United States Constitution. Currently our military could not be operationally mission ready without women soldiers, as women make up 33 percent of our active military forces. If a country asks women to sacrifice their lives for their country shouldn’t they be worthy to be included in the Constitution?
So onward to Illinois and Virginia. We can do this. The lose all the battles we do not fight. So let’s keep fighting for the last two states not only for our grandmothers who fought this fight in the 1970’s and1980’s, but our mothers, sisters, daughters, and yes, our grandfathers, fathers and sons.