April 27, 2017

ACTION ALERT - SJRCA 0004 Equal Rights Amendment - Call your Illinois Senator Now!

We strongly urge legislators to oppose this resolution for two reasons:  

(1) The language of the proposed 1972 ERA, which cannot now be revised, is virtually identical to language that the major pro-abortion groups have used in other states (including New Mexico) for highly successful legal attacks on laws protecting unborn children and limiting tax funding of abortion.

(2) The Illinois resolution is part of an effort to evade the federal constitutional amendment process spelled out in the U.S. Constitution itself.

Leading pro-abortion groups – including NARAL, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood -- have strongly urged state courts to construe state ERAs, containing language virtually identical to the language of the 1972 federal ERA proposal, to invalidate laws that treat abortion differently from other “medical procedures,” including laws restricting tax-funding of abortion and laws requiring parental notification or consent for minors’ abortions.

Consider, for example, the case of New Mexico, which in 1973 adopted a state ERA (“Equality of rights under law shall not be denied on account of the sex of any person”) virtually identical to the federal language that SCR 194/HCR 109 purports to ratify.  In New Mexico, this ERA language was subsequently used as the sole basis for a successful attack the state policy against tax-funding of abortion.  In 1998, every justice on the New Mexico Supreme Court agreed that the state ERA makes it unconstitutional for the state Medicaid program to refuse to fund “medically necessary” abortions (which simply means any abortion performed by a licensed medical professional) if procedures sought by men (e.g., prostate surgery) are funded.

The ERA would specify that limits to abortion are by definition a form of sex discrimination and therefore impermissible under ERA – can be used to invalidate any federal or state restrictions even on partial-birth abortions or third-trimester abortions (since these are sought “only by women”); the federal and state “conscience laws,” which allow government-supported medical facilities and personnel -- including religiously affiliated hospitals -- to refuse to participate in abortions; and parental notification and consent laws.


Now is the time to call your Illinois Senator.  Click here to find contact information for your 
Illinois Senator.  Urge them to vote NO on SJRCA 0004, the Equal Rights Amendment