Fight for ratification continues, almost a century after the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced

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CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Equal Rights Amendment was introduced almost a century ago in 1923, and still has not become an official part of the U.S. Constitution.

Today, the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition, leaders from the National Organization for Women (NOW), and United States Senators, including Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey, advocated for its ratification.

“Women need to make sure they have equal rights, whether it’s their paycheck, whether it’s access to their doctor and making decisions, all of those things,” said Nina Ahmad, interim president of Pennsylvania NOW.

The Equal Rights Amendment is designed to guarantee no American can be denied by the United States or any state on the basis of sex.

“We are 51% of the population, and yet we are fighting to say that we need to have equal rights, in this day and age,” said Ahmed.

38 states needed to ratify the amendment by 1982 in order for it to become a part of the Constitution. It missed the mark by three states.

In 2020, Virginia signed on as the 38th state, but will it count? There’s discrepancy and a series of lawsuits questioning the timeline and validity of the process.

“It’s still hard to comprehend that we’ve got all these years, even decades, with not nearly enough progress,” said Casey.

This is a unique situation, and one the Biden Administration can revisit.

Right now, the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition is advocating for Senate to remove the amendments long past time limit. It’s already been approved by the House.

“I think there’s plenty of motivation and now we just have to have a commitment on legislation in addition to motivation,” said Casey.

While there is some bipartisan support, not all Republicans are in favor, saying men and women are already equal under the Constitution. Five states have tried to repeal their support as well.

Senator Casey said he’s optimistic.

“I think there is a bridge to Republicans in their support in the last Congress that we can build on,” said Casey.

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