Will Virginia be the last state needed for the Equal Rights Amendment?

Virginia could be the last state needed to ratify the ERA, but there could still be hurdles...
Virginia could be the last state needed to ratify the ERA, but there could still be hurdles even if its supported by the General Assembly. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 15, 2019 at 6:16 PM EST
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The Equal Rights Amendment is expected to come up again in the General Assembly's session next year.

Earlier this year, it was passed by the Senate, but failed to come out of committee in the House of Delegates.

In Harrisonburg, there have been groups of people pushing for the amendment to pass in the General Assembly, and two we spoke with today think this could be the year.

Both Sylvia Rogers and Deanna Reed said the amendment would mean important protections for women that aren't already included in the Constitution. Reed said the recent change in power in the General Assembly gives the amendment a path forward.

"We now have the votes in place, and that's what's important and so it's my hope that it gets done," Reed said.

However, even if the ERA passes the General Assembly, it could still face some hurdles before being added to the Constitution. Some experts say any other ratifications would be too late, because of a 1982 deadline. Supporters still have hope.

"We're not home-free yet," Rogers said. "But I'm optimistic that we will have the equal rights amendment as part of our constitution."

Reed said she's amazed by how long many women have been pushing for the amendment, and is also optimistic it will pass.

"I have some nervousness about that," Reed said. "But I really do believe that this is our time, and that we'll be able to pass this through."

Not everyone is supportive of the ERA. Some conservative groups have said they believe it would push forward an abortion-rights agenda.