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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

U.S. Rep. Lawrence, Co-Chair of Democratic Women’s Caucus, Votes to Pass Equal Rights Amendment Resolution

March 17, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Representative Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, voted to pass H.J.Res. 17, a joint bipartisan resolution to remove an arbitrary time limit previously set by Congress for the States to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” It would finally affirm women’s equality in our Constitution – enshrining the principle of women’s equality and an explicit prohibition against sex discrimination in the nation’s foundational document.”

“For far too long, women in the United States have faced sex discrimination in healthcare, employment, education, and many others parts of our society. I’m excited the House voted to pass the Equal Rights Amendment resolution today to remove this arbitrary time limit. We’re sending a strong message that equality does not have a deadline,” said Rep. Lawrence. “In our relentless fight against sex discrimination, today’s action puts us a step closer to ensuring the ERA becomes a part of our U.S. Constitution. We need to guarantee that women and men are treated equally under the law, and I strongly urge the Senate to pass this joint resolution.”

When Congress passed the ERA in 1972, it attached an arbitrary 7-year ratification deadline to the preamble which was later extended three more years. By 1982, 35 states out of the required 38 states voted to ratify the amendment. In the past three years, grassroots campaigns have successfully secured ratification votes in Nevada, Illinois, and most recently, Virginia. The ERA has now been ratified by the 38 states needed for adoption to the U.S. Constitution.