Ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

SJR19 currently under consideration in the Arkansas Legislature would ratify the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. While Family Council supports equal rights, the Equal Rights Amendment has the potential to undermine existing laws intended to prevent gender-based discrimination. It also carries a number of unintended consequences. Below are some facts concerning the Equal Rights Amendment. You can download a copy of our policy brief on the issue here.

An ERA Overview: In 2007, the House State Agencies Committee refused to pass this measure, and in 2009, the Senate State Agencies refused to pass it. Ratifying the ERA would make us the 36th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the US. Constitution. With the ratification of 38 states the measure could become the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

It 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.”

Why Family Council Opposes the ERA: Since the introduction of the ERA over 30 years ago, numerous state and federal laws have been passed to prevent discrimination against women. In the meantime, courts have interpreted some state ERAs in ways that supporters of these measures never imagined. While Family Council supports equal rights, we are concerned about the unintended consequences of the Federal Equal Rights Amendment.

Here is what can happen if it becomes part of the U.S. Constitution:


Big Day at the Arkansas Capitol Today

A lot is happening at the Capitol. Read some of the highlights below.

Pro-Life History Made. In case you missed it, both the House and Senate voted this week to override Governor Beebe’s veto of SB134 by Sen. Jason Rapert. SB134 prohibits abortion at or after the twelfth week of pregnancy, except in certain cases. This is the strongest pro-life law in the nation, and the second time this session the legislature has voted to override a veto.

“Tim Tebow” Bill Filed Today. Rep. Lowery has filed HB1789 to let home schooled students participate in interscholastic activities at their local public school. The bill requires home schooled students participating in the activities to demonstrate academic proficiency and comply with school rules on practice times, drug testing, fees, and so forth. It would not affect home schoolers who choose not to participate in public school activities.

Bill to Defund Abortion Providers Filed. Today Senator Jason Rapert filed a bill to regulate public-funding of abortion providers. Public funds awarded to abortion providers indirectly facilitate and subsidize abortion and abortion counseling in spite of a state constitutional amendment to the contrary. SB818 by Sen. Rapert takes abortion providers out of the state’s checkbook.


Governor Beebe Vetoes Fetal Heartbeat Bill

Governor Mike Beebe has vetoed another pro-life bill–this time SB134, Senator Jason Rapert’s fetal heartbeat bill.

This pro-life bill would prohibit abortions at or after the twelfth week of pregnancy if a fetal heartbeat is detected–except in cases of fetal abnormalities, rape, incest, or when the mother’s life or physical health are in jeopardy.

It passed both the Arkansas House and Senate, and only lacked the Governor’s signature to become law.

This bill by Senator Rapert is a good piece of pro-life legislation Arkansans want to see enacted.

The Arkansas Legislature can override Governor Beebe’s veto, but we need your help. Here are three things you can do:

  1. Call Governor Beebe, and politely express your disappointment with his decision to veto this good pro-life bill. His phone number is 501-682-2345.
  2. Call your state senator, and ask him or her to vote to override the Governor’s veto of SB134. You can leave a message for your senator at 501-682-2902.
  3. Call your state representative, and ask him or her to override the Governor’s veto of SB134. You can leave a message for your representative at 501-682-6211.

This veto can be overridden with 51 votes in the House and 18 votes in the Senate. A strong majority of Arkansans are pro-life. That’s why it’s so important pro-life Arkansans call the Governor and their elected officials about this important bill.