The Equal Rights Amendment, better known as the ERA, is an amendment requiring that both sexes be treated equally under the law. It has been a matter of heated debate and battle for the last 83 years. The ERA was first introduced to Congress in 1923; three years after the 19th Amendment had passed. It was written by Alice Paul, the same activist who had gotten the 19th Amendment passed. This was her next project, and would continue to be the National Women's Party's primary goal for the rest of her lifespan.
[...] The Forum states that an ERA would eliminate the predisposition of the courts and system to allow mother to stay with their children You This is actually true; the courts would now be forced to make their judgments based entirely on who is a better parent. I hardly see how that could be a bad thing for anyone, least of all the children involved. The Forum also notes that an ERA would require women to sign up with the draft, and eliminate any ability for Congress to exempt them from the draft. [...]
[...] Both pro- and anti-ERA activists agree that an ERA would increase the liberty and rights of gays and lesbians. Of course, they disagree on whether this would be good or bad. If the law was sex-blind, than a marriage between two individuals would be legal, regardless of their sexes. It would also make it unconstitutional to discriminate against lesbians and gays in any other field, including employment (many military and police groups do not allow gays or lesbians), housing, and other basic needs. [...]
[...] Reproductive rights arguments, however, primarily revolve around the issue of abortion. Both sides of the argument agree: an ERA would make abortions largely legal across the board. How you view this, of course, depends on your opinions of abortion. However, one of the most critical cases in viewing this facet of the argument is a recent federal law that would have made a type of abortion known as D&X (dilate and extraction) illegal. This is a procedure in which the uterus is dilated and the fetus extracted prematurely. [...]
[...] Today, many of the original arguments no longer hold sway. Unisex labor laws protect women and men from extreme work hours and days, require breaks for food and general rest, and allow for child care. However, these concerns have been replaced by new ones. First and foremost, although the difference is not nearly as severe as in 1923, there is still a definite discrepancy in men's and women's pay. As recently as 2000, studies found that the average woman makes for every dollar that men make. [...]
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