Politics, Right to Life

Virginia and the ERA

Here in Virginia, we are at a crossroads. We have the potential to impact the entire nation—we will either protect innocent human life or we will turn the tide and destroy generations to come. It all comes down to a handful of votes.

Despite the fact that it failed in committee, there will be an attempt to bring the Equal Rights Amendment to the floor for a vote. This requires a rules change and Delegate Hala Ayala (D-Woodbridge) announced that an effort for that rules change will come tomorrow.

You may ask, “What’s wrong with the Equal Rights Amendment?” For the vast majority of women, it seems like a no-brainer but the danger is that passing ERA amendments in several states immediately led for abortion groups to demand that the states provide funding for abortion.

According to Virginia Society for Human Life, “The ERA, as currently written, would eliminate virtually every single regulation on abortion including over turning partial-birth abortion ban, mandate funding for abortion-on-demand, etc.”

Delegate Scott Garrett (R-Lynchburg) rose to challenge the upcoming attempts to pass the ERA, “The next few days will give us the opportunity to answer that question by saying out loud what this has been about all along: a proxy fight on unrestricted access to abortion. I think we’re all well aware of the shock and outrage that emerged not only across the Commonwealth but across the country, after the details of House bill 2491 became widely known. That legislation, Mr. Speaker, erased all meaningful restrictions on late term abortion, allowing abortion up to the moment of birth for the most tenuous of reasons.”

The bill Del. Garrett was referring to was introduced by Del. Kathy Tran (D-Springfield) would have allowed abortions up until the very moment of birth and would have stripped all protective laws that exist in Virginia—e.g. reflection periods, parent consent, ultrasound requirements, etc. The legislation failed but as Del. Garrett pointed out the attempts to pass the ERA are a proxy fight.

If the ERA passes in Virginia, Virginia would be the last state needed to “ratify” the amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I put ratify in quotes because, by law, the ratification process was closed years ago and the process should be restarted from the beginning. (In fact, 5 states reversed their votes for ratification.)

If Virginia passes the ERA, whether or not the state ratification votes from 40 year ago would count would be up to the courts to decide.

And we all know that court decisions can be all over the map.