Many readers may not be aware that there is a revived movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Passage of H.3391 would make South Carolina the required 38th state to ratify the ERA and make it the law of the land.
The ERA was first introduced in Congress in 1923 and every year thereafter until 1972 when it was passed and sent to the states for ratification. Its few words simply state that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged … on account of sex.”
Many people think that women have equal protection under the Constitution, but that is not so. Even though laws have been passed at state and national levels to protect women from discrimination, women are still paid less, have higher rates of poverty, experience more violence, and are under-represented in positions of power. The only remedy is to define the legal status of women in the U.S. Constitution.
The League of Women Voters of Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Area supports passage of H.3391. The bill is co-sponsored by 13 legislators from both parties, including Rep. Weston Newton of Bluffton, and will continue to be on the Judiciary Committee’s agenda when this legislative session resumes in January 2020.
Now is the time to urge your state representative to join Weston Newton and support this bill in 2020. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, but it didn’t give them equality under the law. Almost 100 years later, the time has come!