Menendez Leads Colleagues in Introducing Equal Rights Amendment during Women’s History Month

Menendez Leads Colleagues in Introducing Equal Rights Amendment during Women’s History Month

Sixth consecutive Congress Sen. Menendez has introduced ERA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today led 21 Senate colleagues in reintroducing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would guarantee women complete equal rights under the U.S. Constitution. The month of March is dedicated to celebrating the invaluable contributions women have made to our society.

“Throughout the past two years, the Trump Administration has ignored the gender wage gap; attempted to block access to affordable, quality reproductive health care; and has appointed right-wing judges who have been groomed by conservative think tanks who seek to rollback time,” said Sen. Menendez. “The Equal Rights Amendment was first passed nearly 50 years ago and, while we have made great strides in forming a more equal and just society, we have recently found ourselves having to fight the same old battles to keep the clock from turning back. Now more than ever, we must formally codify in the U.S. Constitution that women are entitled full equality under the law, and I won’t stop fighting until that day comes.”

“Equal rights for women means ensuring access to reproductive health care, equal pay, and freedom from pregnancy-based discrimination,” said Sunu Chandy, Legal Director for the National Women’s Law Center. “The NWLC supports having additional attention paid to the on-going sex discrimination faced by so many – that this work to pass the ERA will provide. Including equality based on sex, explicitly as part of the U.S. Constitution, will highlight to everyone in this nation and beyond that the fight for women’s rights must continue until these rights are a reality for all of us, including women of color, immigrant women, poor women, women with disabilities and LGBTQ individuals.”

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 – the ERA establishes within the United States Constitution the unambiguous and unassailable rights of women under the law.”

New Jersey suffragist leader Alice Paul, who founded the National Women’s Party and was instrumental in passing the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, authored the first version of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923.  It passed Congress in 1972 but fell short of the 38 states required to ratify by three states.

Joining Sen. Menendez on this bill are U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).

This is the sixth consecutive Congress in which Sen. Menendez has led the introduction of the ERA. The text of the bill can be downloaded here.