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Rep. Adams Votes to Remove the Time Limit for Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment

Mar 18, 2021
Press Release
“I was proud to vote for legislation that would enable us to quickly ratify the Equal Rights Amendment,” said Rep. Adams.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) voted to pass H.J.Res. 17, a joint resolution to remove an arbitrary time limit previously set by Congress for the states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), a proposed amendment to the Constitution that guarantees equal rights for women.  This joint resolution has bipartisan support from 209 cosponsors and passed last Congress by a bipartisan vote of 232 to 183.

“I was proud to vote for legislation that would enable us to quickly ratify the Equal Rights Amendment,” said Rep. Adams. “A vote for the Equal Rights Amendment is a vote for finally enshrining full equality under the law for women. The Constitution should and must include the ERA, so that women are provided the legal protections they need against domestic violence, sexual assault, and pay, pregnancy, and other workplace discrimination. There is no expiration date on equality.”

Additionally, Rep. Adams spoke on the House floor last night to mark Women’s History Month. Video of her remarks is available here.

The Equal Rights Amendment simply states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.” The ERA was first proposed in 1923 by suffragist Alice Paul, just a few years after women gained the right to vote.  The constitutional amendment was then introduced in every session of Congress until it passed in 1972 by bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate.  Congress then placed an arbitrary seven-year deadline on the ratification process before extending the deadline to 1982, but only 35 states ratified the ERA before the arbitrary deadline expired.  However, with the recent ratifications of the ERA by Nevada in 2017, Illinois in 2018 and Virginia in 2020, the 38 states needed for the ERA to become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has now been reached. 

H.J.Res. 17 removes the arbitrary deadline for ratification set in 1982 and takes a critical step toward ensuring the ERA officially becomes part of our Constitution. As the 28th Amendment, the ERA would: 

  • Give women a key tool in the legal arsenal to combat everyday discrimination women face, including pay discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual and domestic violence;
  • Provide a single, national baseline protection against sex discrimination across the country; and
  • Apply the most rigorous judicial review to laws and government policies that discriminate against women and it would ensure that laws or policies that are inconsistent with equality for women be struck down.

Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. was the 100th woman elected to the 113th Congress, marking the first time 100 women served in Congress simultaneously. 


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