ERA is back

Capitol Hill

TEXT OF STORY

BOB MOON: Coming soon to a hearing room on the Hill, a blast from the past: the ERA. After this week's re-introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment into Congress, legislators are promising hearings on women's rights in the next couple of months. Marketplace's Hillary Wicai reports.


HILLARY WICAI: The ERA was three states short of becoming a constitutional amendment in 1982.

Today's version has a new name: the Women's Equality Amendment.

Heidi Hartman is the president of the Institute for Women's Policy Research. She says women who work full-time earn 75-80 percent of what men do.

HEIDI HARTMAN: You know, that's still a pretty big gap, and over a lifetime, it can add up to half a million dollars.

Conservative groups who opposed the amendment in the 1970s still do.

Wendy Wright is with Concerned Women for America. She says similar amendments at the state level have led to support for same-sex marriage and decisions about how to distribute health care dollars.

WENDY WRIGHT: In New Mexico, the Supreme Court ruled that the taxpayers had to subsidize abortions, because they claimed that there can be no distinction made between men and women.

The hearings in the House Judiciary committee will be the first on the topic in more than two decades.

In Washington, I'm Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.

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