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March 29, 2021

ERA: North Dakota Legislature Passes “Count Us Out” Resolution

North Dakota State Capitol
photo credit: Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr
On March 19, North Dakota became the first state in the nation to pass a resolution notifying federal authorities that its ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has expired.

The resolution instructs that North Dakota “should not be counted by Congress, the Archivist of the United States…[or] any court of law…as still having on record a live ratification,” because the state's ratification officially expired on March 22, 1979.

The ERA was written to expire on that date if it was not ratified by two-thirds of the states by then. Pro-abortion politicians, however, are making a constitutionally-questionable effort to resurrect the dead legislation by retroactively amending the deadline in Congress. Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia have voted to ratify the dead amendment in recent years, and some politicians argue that the amendment has surpassed the required two-thirds margin as a result.

In 1975, North Dakota's legislature voted to ratify the ERA. Not only has the amendment expired since then, but the state's legislature holds the opposite view on whether the pro-abortion amendment should be ratified. The legislature passed this resolution to help ensure that the amendment isn't ratified now because the state voted the other way over 40 years ago.

According to many interpreters, the ERA would create a universal right to abortion. Courts could strike down pro-life laws across the country. Even if the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade, a universal right to abortion could still threaten the lives of unborn children throughout the US.

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