Document 10: Iowa Women's Equality Campaign, "Dont' Let Them Take Away Your Rights!" 1992. Box 1, ERA Iowa 1992 Collection, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa.
This brochure was produced and distributed by the Iowa Women’s Equality Campaign in 1992. It refers to the Iowa state ERA as Amendment 1 -- the name coined for the 1992 referendum in order to avoid negative associations created in the 1980 campaign. Although omitted here, the brochure employs color and graphs to illustrate the wage gap between Iowa men and women. It also references a fund-raising letter sent out to Iowans by Christian Coalition leader Pat Robertson and speeches made by Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum and leader of the national STOP ERA organization. In his letter, Robertson said that the ERA would encourage women to “leave their husbands, kill their children, destroy capitalism, become socialists and practice witchcraft.” Similar to the 1980 campaign, the literature of ERA proponents address the sensationalist claims of the opposition, including the fears of homosexuality and AIDS. By emphasizing inequality among working women, housewives and widow's this brochure emphasizes the legal implications of the amendment. In a departure from the 1980 campaign, this brochure implies that the ERA will benefit men, specifically spouses and working men, because the ERA will insure fair job competition and higher income for working families.
Don't Let Them Take
Away Your Rights!
VOTE YES ON
A majority of Iowans support equal rights for men and women. The Iowa Legislature passed Amendment 1 by overwhelming margins and placed it before the voters for approval November 3.
The Facts About Discrimination in Iowa
Iowa needs Amendment
FACT 1: In Iowa, a woman who graduates from high school will make almost $5,000 a year less than a man who drops out. FACT 2: In Iowa, a middle-aged woman gets paid only 54 cents for every dollar a man makes. FACT 3: In Iowa, women over 65 are twice as likely as men to live in poverty. In pensions and insurance, discrimination deprives older women of millions.
Amendment guarantees equal rights for women and men and strengthens existing laws by closing loopholes and providing a higher constitutional standard for prohibiting gender discrimination.
Source: U.S. Current
The record in the 16 states with Equal Rights Amendments is clear.
Older women by fighting sex discrimination in wages, pensions, annuities and insurance which costs them millions.
Employed women by fighting sex discrimination in wages and job opportunities.
Homemakers by giving financial value to the work they do inside the home in property settlements and child support.
Men by enhancing family income through eliminating sex discrimination. A cheap labor pool threatens the salaries of men as well as women.
Opponents Resort to Dangerous Lies
With the popularity and impressive track record of state Equal Rights Amendments, the opponents to Amendment must resort to lies. Televangelist Pat Robertson had linked Amendment to witchcraft and child killing. Phyllis Schafly has gone as far as to link the Equal Rights Amendment with AIDS. These claims and the claims of higher insurance rates and lower veterans’ benefits are not only pathetic. They are dangerous lies.
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