The fight over the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), passed by Congress almost half a century ago in 1972, was renewed in January when Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the measure. With that action, three-quarters of the states have now ratified the ERA, the number required to include the amendment in the Constitution. However, a congressionally established 1982 deadline for ratification has long since expired, and five states rescinded their ratifications in the 1970s. As a result, the Justice Department has declared the ERA no longer legally pending, and the National Archives and Records Administration has not certified adoption of the amendment. ERA opponents say it will eliminate protections for women, force them to serve in combat, ban single-sex bathrooms and institutions and outlaw ...

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