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A lot of breath has been expended today on the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade.

I wonder why no one bothered to mention that we are 90 years since the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment, and how passage of the ERA would provide constitutional guarantee to women that our rights cannot be abridged on the basis of sex.

Roe v Wade, and the Baird cases before and after, established that sexual conduct and reproductive choice are protected by virtue of our right to privacy – these personal matters are not the government’s business. The Constitution also grants us the right to worship, speak, publish and gather without interference from the government, and further specifies that the government cannot establish a state religion. Given that objections to abortion and contraception spring from religious positions that we do not all share, and which the government is not permitted to impose on us, we should not even be having an argument about abortion, let alone tolerating state restrictions on any aspect of health care for women.

Why don’t women enjoy the same right to privacy and autonomy of our persons as men? (Imagine the States trying to legislate what men may and may not do about their reproductive health? Guys can’t even abide having their phallic symbols restricted.)

When will women (and men – of every sexual orientation and gender identity) be able to turn to a Constitutional Amendment for recourse against misogynists and moralizers, just as people of color are able to challenge racism under the the 15th Amendment?

The ERA simply forbids discrimination on the basis of sex, meaning that it expands everyone’s rights and protections under the Constitution.  A number of groups are working very hard to finally make the ERA the law of the land. Why aren’t we hearing about it?

I am genuinely shocked and disappointed that in the entire raft of liberal talkers, not a one has had the gumption, or maybe even the notion, that we can do more than wring our hands over denial of access to abortion and contraception. In the big picture, those attacks on women’s rights are unconstitutional. That should be the context of the discussion; and the ERA should be the remedy put forward and discussed.

Please sign the White House petition on the ERA!