The Dangers of the ERA

How horrible if HB 40, the massive taxpayer funding of abortion law under Medicaid throughout the full nine months of pregnancy, was forced on every state of the Union!

This can happen if the so-called Equal Rights Amendment or ERA (the federal proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution) is ratified in Illinois.

Right now Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment #4 (sjrca 4 or era) is in the Illinois Senate waiting to be voted on any session day.  The votes are close!

The key language of the ERAis “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or  any state on account of sex”   a seemingly simple statement that has been interpreted to require taxpayer funding of abortions, same-sex marriage, and more.

In 1998 the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled that under their state ERA since only women undergo abortions, the denial of taxpayer funding for abortions is “sex discrimination” and the court forced the people of New Mexico to pay for abortions under Medicaid since that decision.  The decision was based solely on the state ERA.

In 1986, a superior court in Connecticut ruled that the state ERA required Connecticut taxpayers to pay for abortions, stating “since only women become pregnant, discrimination against pregnancy by not funding abortions…is sex-oriented discrimination….” Connecticut taxpayers have funded abortions since that decision.

If the federal ERA were ratified by the states (only two more states needed to ratify – Illinois and one more) we fear that activist judges can order HB 40s in every state.

Some say this proposed amendment’s time is up and so is dead, so why worry?

We worry because of activist judges who don’t follow the constitution or the rules of law.  For example, after activist Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Appeals Court for the 7th circuit (for Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin) retired, he did an interview for the Washington Post (2017).  Posner said when asked about his approach to the law: “I pay very little attention to legal rules, statutes, constitutional provisions. A case is just a dispute. The first thing you do is ask yourself – forget about the law – what is a sensible resolution of this dispute?”

Please contact your Illinois senator at the state capitol today and then your state representative. You can find your legislators here.