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Dingell: Women Must be Seen as Equal Under the Eyes of the Law

Washington, February 13, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) voted to remove the deadline and finally allow the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA would specify in the Constitution that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on the account of sex.”

In 1972, Congress approved the Equal Rights Amendment and set a seven-year deadline for 38 states to ratify. The deadline was later extended to 1982, but it passed with only 35 states having ratified. Now, Virginia, Nevada, and Illinois have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment bringing the total to 38 – and meeting the three-fourths required – to ratify the Amendment. The House passed legislation would remove the arbitrary 1982 deadline and allow for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment into the Constitution.

“Since the founding of our country, women have not been included in the Constitution. Women continue to face obstacles for full equality, including unequal pay, pregnancy discrimination, sexual and domestic violence, and inadequate health care access,” said Dingell. “The ratification of the ERA would have a positive impact on these fronts and make women equal to men in the eyes of the law.”

Former Michigan Congresswoman Martha Griffiths forced the ERA to vote to the full House, after decades of the Amendment waiting in committee. The State of the Michigan ratified the ERA on May 22, 1972, three months after the Amendment was put to the states.

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