May 13, 2018
My Mother, Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016)

“You sound just like your mother!” said the NPR reporter to me. What a compliment! I gave an interview on the perils of the Equal Rights Amendment, which failed in 1979 because of my mother’s political activism and leadership.

Anne Schlafly Cori and Phyllis Schlafly
Anne Schlafly Cori and Phyllis Schlafly

The threat of ERA is back in the news and my mother’s voice is back in my head. In light of the #MeToo movement, where women are complaining that men are using their positions of power to harass women, some men think that supporting ERA will protect them from a charge of being “anti-woman.” My mother taught me never to be misled by emotion, but always to stick to the facts.

On this Mother’s Day, I am emulating my mom with her best arguments and insightful wisdom.  ERA is not a feel-good, symbolic law, but it would seriously harm women. Today is not “Parent’s Day”, but a day to celebrate the necessary role of mothers.

If you missed the fight in the 1970s, here is the fallacy of “equal rights.”

  1. Women and men are different. ERA demands that women and men be interchangeable in every circumstance. Celebrate our biological differences; we should not pretend that they do not exist. The U.S. government should not have the power to enforce a unisex society.
  2. ERA would not put “women” in the U.S. Constitution; it would put “sex” in the Constitution. “Sex” has many definitions; it is both a noun and a verb. The language is so vague that it would be open to multiple judicial interpretations.
  3. Forcing equal representation of women in all military roles, including combat, would compromise our military readiness. Nor should the U.S. military be forced to accept “transgender” applicants.
  4. ERA would force taxpayer-paid abortions and secure abortion as a Constitutional right.
  5. ERA does not allow for any exceptions for privacy and would force the sex-integration of prisons, women’s shelters, athletic competitions, schools, and showers.
  6. Government benefits that women receive would be eliminated, such as Social Security benefits for homemakers, WIC nutrition program, financial incentives for women-owned businesses, and any workplace accommodations for pregnant women.
  7. Section II of the ERA would give the federal government enormous new powers over family law, which is a state’s responsibility.
  8. Nothing in the ERA would ever give a pay raise to any woman nor stop a man from harassing her.

My mom taught me to be a lady at all times. She told me to stand up straight, look people in the eye, smile, and be direct in conversation. But the most important lesson I learned from her was grit and tenacity. Phyllis Schlafly was intimidating not just because she was a Constitutional lawyer, but because she was confident in her facts and firm in her conviction. She never stopped fighting for those values she knew were vital for America to continue to be a land of freedom and opportunity, and I am honored to continue her work.

God bless you,
Anne Schlafly Cori
Chairman, Eagle Forum