Stop ERA, sometimes written as STOP ERA or Stop E.R.A., is the name of Phyllis Schlafly's campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Schlafly founded Stop ERA after the proposed amendment was passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in 1972. Stop ERA played a significant role in the fight against ratification of the ERA during the 1970s.
The Ten-Year Campaign and Beyond
The Stop ERA campaign fought against the amendment from the time it was sent to the states for ratification in 1972 until the final ERA deadline in 1982. Ultimately, ratification of the ERA fell three states short of the number needed to add it to the Constitution.
Many organizations, including the National Organization for Women (NOW), continue to work for an amendment guaranteeing equal rights for women. Phyllis Schlafly continues her Stop ERA campaign through her Eagle Forum organization, which warns that radical feminists and “activist judges” still want to pass the amendment.
The Anti-Feminist Philosophy
A prominent conservative figure, Phyllis Schlafly is well known for her Stop ERA stance as well as other anti-feminist positions. The Eagle Forum describes her as the “most articulate and successful opponent of the radical feminist movement.” An advocate for honoring the “dignity“ of the role of homemaker, Phyllis Schlafly called the women’s liberation movement highly detrimental to families and the U. S. as a whole.
Reasons to Stop the ERA
Why “Stop ERA”? Phyllis Schlafly traveled across the U.S. throughout the 1970s calling for opposition to the ERA because it would lead to:
- Homosexual marriages
- Women in combat
- Taxpayer-funded abortions
- Unisex bathrooms
- Elimination of Social Security benefits for widows
Many of these claims about what the ERA would do are disputed by legal scholars. On the other hand, some of these results evolved after the 1970s to become public policy, accepted by a majority of the electorate.
The Eagle Forum and so-called states’ rights groups warn that the ERA would transfer a great deal of power from state to federal governments. The Stop ERA campaign continues to generate news whenever the ERA is reintroduced in national or state legislative sessions.