Equal Rights Amendment Passed by House, 354‐23


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By EILEEN SHANAHAN        OCT. 13, 1971

This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive. To preserve articles as they originally appeared in print — before the start of online publication in 1996 — The Times does not alter, edit or update these articles.

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The article as it originally appeared.
October 13, 1971, Page 1The New York Times Archives

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12—The House of Representatives passed today, 354 to 23, a constitutional amendment prohibiting discrimination based on sex.

The amendment was passed in the form long favored by women’s rights advocates.

The key vote was on the issue of including in the amendment provisions that would continue the legality of drafting men, but not women, into the armed forces and provisions asserting the validity of many existing laws that treat men and women differently.

Women’s rights advocates said that these provisions nullified the intention of the Equal Rights Amendment, as it is known. They were stricken from the amendment by a vote of 265 to 87.

Today’s vote marked the second time in two years that the House has passed the amendment in the form advocated by women’s rights activists. Last year, there were only 15 votes against.

The amendment will now go to the Senate, which has never passed it in the version that feminists want, although it has passed amended versions three times.Continue reading the main story

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The fate of the amendment in the Senate in the current Congress is uncertain. If the Senate does pass it, it must be ratified by 38 states to become effective. The Senate majority leader, Mike Mansfield of Montana, has placed the bill on the Senate calendar so it can legally be called up for a vote at any time. This was a device to keep the Senate Judiciary Committee, where there is strong apposition to the amendment, from burying it there.

Since Mr. Mansfield can bring up the bill at any time, the Judiciary Committee is expected to act on it.

But there appeared to be strong probability that Senator Sam J. Ervin Jr. of North Carolina, the commitee’s leading opponent of the amendment, would be able to attach provisions similar to those that feminists find unacceptable and that were defeated in the House today.

Whether these provisions could then be eliminated on the Senate floor was questionable. Women’s rights groups expressed optimism that they would pick up more and more votes for their position as the 1972 elections drew closer.

The day’s debate in the House was long and conducted before galleries that were two‐thirds full of women of all ages, —ranging from elderly veterans of the fight for the women’s suffrage amendment, which was adopted in 1920, to college and high‐school girls.

At one point in the debate, Representative Thomas G. Abernethy, Democrat of Mississippi, said that enactment of the amendment would mean that there was no way of compelling a man to support his family. And he said that his wife had instructed him to vote against the amendment “because she doesn’t want to lose her home.”

Mr. Abernethy was followed to the rostrum by Representative Bella S. Abzug, Democrat of Manhattan, who started her speech with the announcement, “I do not come here under instructions from my husband as to how to vote.”

The galleries applauded and cheered—which is forbidden by the rules of the House.

Of the 11 women members of the House, nine, including Mrs. Abzug, voted for the amendment today. One absentee, Representative Edith Green, Democrat of Oregon, has supported it in the past. The lone opponent among the women members was Representative Leonor K. Sullivan, Democrat of Missouri.

The text of the amendment, H. J. Res. 208, is as follows:

Section 1. Equality of rights shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

Most of the debate focused on the question of whether women would have to he drafted, if men were, if the amendment were adopted.

The sponsor of the modirication of the amendment that would have exempted women from compulsory military service, Representative Charles. E. Wiggins, Republican of California, said that the general counsel of the Department of Defense had told him it would be “impossible for the military to operate” If the amendment were adopted.

Not only would the services be forced to draft more women than they wanted, he said, but separate barracks and other separate facilities would not be permitted.

Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, demanded to know why, if the military was concerned, it had not asked to testify at the hearings on the amendment. Mr. Wiggins said that he could not answer that question.

A version of this archives appears in print on October 13, 1971, on Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: Equal Rights Amendment Passed by House, 354‐23. Order ReprintsToday’s Paper|Subscribe

What year is it?


a repost … a rant

The conservative stance or comments about women, Planned Parenthood, contraceptives, and abortion has been offensive yet enlightening for voters who believe it’s time to give women choice like men have had without interference.  Hopefully,  fact checking the claims about what Planned Parenthood does for both men and women while considering vasectomies viagra and other enhancements including equipment used by men while they’re at it.

The fact is, some women do not want children, very young women are not ready,working women need time, sadly there are victims of violence who are capable of making their own (personal decisions) plan their families around their personal situations.  We all deserve (free will) to choose whatever reproductive procedure is appropriate for our lives no matter if conservatives believe.  It is the 21st Century, why can’t these conservatives understand that birth control, contraceptives and or possible abortions are a part of a woman’s overall health care is beyond my understanding.   Yet, pro-lifers don’t seem to let facts get in the way because they feel women who have sex and get pregnant should either have the baby or give it up for adoption.  First, the conservative movement that pushes a family values platform on women is political, big government in full effect and should stay out unless a family member or doctor. Second, women should not be the only ones responsible for the prevention of unwanted pregnancies; men need to step up.  Third, conservatives use a broad brush on the topic of women and their health care, specifically when the topic includes reproductive services STOP. Last, the new law or change implemented by President Obama‘s Administration is to offer an option for safe and affordable access to health care services. The idea that folks are against women who pay for all or part of their #ACA should not have reproductive coverage is beyond absurd. I also feel that those in religious organizations that get federal funding need to fall in line or lose the funding and likewise for pharmacists who say their religion keeps them from POS=point of sales, of contraception products seems to contradict the business … excuse me…some are also getting federal funds to do business

I don’t know about you but the reasoning and or rationalization conservative Politicians, constituents or members of Congress use to bash and attack organizations like Planned Parenthood by reciting so-called facts from the internet with a list of falsehoods is embarrassing. The list of questionable information includes silly things like PPH misuses money, funnels money or that PPH only does abortions is just the beginning. I can only say the conservative conspiracy theorists are in full effect. The facts are there; find out by calling Planned Parenthood! They do so much more than just abortions, but that pro-life stance on abortion seems to be the conservative focus filled with misleading information assuming hoping their constituents won’t research their comments.

Thankfully, women who are uninsured, underinsured or who just cannot afford a mainstream doctor can go to Planned Parenthood, which is the first step, then if needed referred to get mammograms at an affiliated clinic with a Planned Parenthood doctor, but Republicans … don’t let the truth get in the way of nasty rhetoric about PPH and women who choose.

Unfortunately, that thing about the Democratic Party wanting to abort black babies is ludicrious.  The Democratic Party has stated that it wants to protect a woman’s right to choose and apply all the Federal laws that exist …period. I was surprised at all the misinformation thrown at viewers by TV hosts and Pundits. I get it, you don’t like abortion, but I suggest that  Republican Leaders would be better off calling out the source or thorn in the side of your Pro-life stance advocates.  It must be tough not to want to use a footnote or source as an absolute from the internet but come up short. If you listen to conservative TV and talk radio you realize most just throw out the facts when it comes to birth control, contraceptives, abortion and what they all mean to a woman’s health care in general.

Women’s health care has always been a politically charged topic and football .  Women of child bearing years or if indeed pregnant, were considered or labeled as being a pre-existing condition; an offensive rationalization used by so many in the insurance industry to deny or limit safe and affordable health care.  Because of President Obama, that practice by the insurance industry is no longer acceptable,however, we still need to regulate how insurance industries treat women, our ability to reproduce makes conservatives rise up to engage in hypocrisy on so many levels. I get the disagreement about abortion but Planned Parenthood clinics give men and women other quality accessible safe and affordable health care no matter what form it comes in. Yet, an ideology, a family values platform pushed, debated and voted into law by red state Republicans has managed to be implemented in some states are trying to dismantle our rights quietly while others have been blocked by the courts

Today, in this 21st Century life, women still have to demand the right to make personal health care choices without political intervention. Unfortunately, some states have succeeded in shoving the reproductive services issue in a political box with laws that are so archaic you have to wonder what year it is.  The cliché of, “do as we say NOT as we do” keeps coming to my mind every time I hear conservatives or any extremist on the right speak on issues of women’s reproductive rights.  Men’s health care issues unlike women have been treated different and provided with procedures and enhancement drugs among other things without questions.  Yet, women and  in most instances women of colour are being  singled out as abortion scarlet’s , abortion abusers, portrayed as something mysterious possibly  evil and definitely disrespected by some extreme folks from the right who do not seem to understand that  birth control , contraceptives and abortion are all a part of a women’s health care no matter what race or economic background.

I feel like a Freedom Fighter …. Join me! #TheRightToChooseMatters