Statement by National NOW President Christian F. Nunes
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Committee took an important step for women’s rights by holding a hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) – the first since 1984. Despite compelling testimonies given by elected officials, activists, and academics, it was clear that extremists on the committee intended to use this critical legislation as a political football to further their radical agendas.
The Equal Rights Amendment would grant women just that – equal rights, and it’s become more important than ever in an America that is actively restricting women’s freedoms. Right-wing leaders continue to use misogynistic and transphobic reasoning to distract from the foundational principle that we need constitutional recognition that women are equal to men in the eyes of the law.
Opponents would have us believe that the ERA is unnecessary because we live in a different, more advanced time than in the 100 years since it was first drafted, proposed, and ratified. But this is due to the generations of women fighting to move us closer to the finish line, only for extremist leaders to roll back decades of progress. And now the fight is ours.
As we saw with Dobbs, our rights aren’t guaranteed and implied protections will never bear the security of explicit protections. And with a radically conservative, originalist Supreme Court in place, we cannot risk just assuming that the founding fathers intended that women were to be included in the Constitution – because they expressly did not. The ERA is not about preferential treatment, it legally levels the playing field because it simply guarantees equality for ALL.
On behalf of the thousands of members of NOW, we urge members of the Senate to eliminate the arbitrary deadline on this crucial legislation so that women will no longer be second-class citizens, once and for all.