Page Five of 1980 Brochure by Catholics Act for ERA

The Equal Rights
Amendment has
Nothing
to do with Abortion

Here’s why:

  • The legislative history of the Amendment makes clear that E.R.A. does not apply to physical characteristics (like pregnancy) which are unique to one sex. (Senate Report 92-689).

    It will have “no effect on any abortion law of any state.” (Martha Griffiths, chief E.R.A. sponsor in the House, 117 Cong. Rec. 35302). The Supreme Court is obliged to follow the clearly stated legislative intent of Congress.

  • The E.R.A. is based on the legal doctrine of equal protection.  The Supreme Court has never found abortion to be an issue of equal protection or sex discrimination.  Abortion decisions of the Court (eg Roe v Wade, Doe v. Bolton) have been based on other legal grounds.
  • No state with a state-E.R.A. has been required to change its abortion laws because of its E.R.A.
  • Ratification of the E.R.A. would not prevent passage of a Human Life Amendment.  Congress always has the right to propose later amendments. (U.S. Constitution, Article V).
The Equal Rights Amendment guarantees equal rights for men and women.  Laws must be able to be applied to both sexes for such a doctrine to operate.  And the plains facts of life are these: men can’t have babies -- or abortions.  There is no way any ERA can give -- or deny -- men an “equal right” to abortion with women!

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