Oklahoma’s Shameful Criminalization of Abortion Care

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

When the Oklahoma legislature passed a first-in-the-nation law that would make it a felony for abortion providers to perform abortions, conservatives unveiled a new way of responding to Supreme Court decisions they don’t like.

Just ignore them. Defy the Constitution, and disregard the 70 percent of people in the U.S. who want Roe v. Wade to remain the law of the land. That’s the stated intent of the bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Nathan Dahm, who hopes his bill could lead to overturning Roe.

The Oklahoma law makes it a felony to perform an abortion, with no exception for cases of rape or incest or to protect a woman’s health. A doctor who performs an abortion could be sentenced to up to three years in prison and be barred from practicing medicine in the state.

One in three women will have an abortion by the age of 45, making that procedure a common and necessary aspect of basic reproductive health care, yet — unlike any aspect of men’s health care — abortion is continually singled out for restriction, hyper-regulation, and now this outright criminalization. Rather than threaten jail time for those who provide safe, legal and medically sound abortion care, the Oklahoma legislature should work to ensure every woman in the state has fully insured access to this vital aspect of women’s health.

NOW calls on Governor Mary Fallin to veto this clearly unconstitutional bill. We note with deep concern that she is considered to be on the short list of potential running mates for Donald Trump as someone who would shore up his right-wing credibility. We urge the governor not to audition for that role by signing this dangerous and discriminatory bill.


Tamara Stein , planner@now.org , 951-547-1241

Oklahoma’s Shameful Criminalization of Abortion Care

Just In: Supreme Court Strikes Down Arkansas’ Early Abortion Ban

By James DiVinnie  January 19, 2016

In a major victory for reproductive rights, the Supreme Court today rejected once and for all an Arkansas bill that would have banned all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy if a heartbeat was detected. The bill, known as the Human Heartbeat Protection Act, was passed by Arkansas’ Republican-dominated state legislature in 2013 over the veto of Democratic governor Mike Beebe, and was at the time the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation (though other states have since outdone Arkansas’ restrictions). Within weeks of the initial bill’s passage two doctors challenged its constitutionality, and both an Arkansas district court and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, preventing the restrictive ban from going into effect. The state, however, appealed the case to the Supreme Court, whose rejection of the ban will hopefully send a message to other states seeking to enact restrictive early abortion bans.

The question of the Human Heartbeat Protection Act’s constitutionality essentially rested on the legal definitions used to define early abortions, and was thus abundantly clear from the outset. The landmark Roe v. Wade case in 1973established a woman’s right to an abortion up to the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, or about 27 weeks. In 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court updated its interpretation to rule that states had a right to ban abortions of fetuses that were medically viable, meaning they could survive outside the womb.

This standard of viability, which usually occurs after about 24 weeks of pregnancy, has remained in effect ever since in spite of a rash of restrictive laws passed in Republican states that seek to redefine the legal standard and ban abortions even earlier. Since 2000, fifteen states have passed so-called “fetal pain” bills, banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the medically incorrect notion promoted by the anti-abortion lobby that a fetus can feel pain beginning at 20 weeks. Even these laws are arguably unconstitutional based on the standard of viability established by the Supreme Court, but the Arkansas ban, in seeking to restrict abortions after 12 weeks – when fetuses certainly can’t feel pain and are far from being viable – went farther than any other restriction.

In asking the Supreme Court to review the case, Arkansas argued that the standard of viability was “outdated,” although the court’s justices – as well as those of the lower courts that have overturned the ban – clearly disagreed, with one 8th Circuit justice adding that the state “offered no competing evidence” on fetal viability or alternate standards. Merely to counter the scare tactics of many Republicans it is worth noting that only about 1% of abortions occur after 20 weeks, and only 3.5% occur after 12 weeks. Nonetheless, women have a clear constitutional right to abortions in these cases, and Republicans’ willingness to trample the constitution they supposedly hold so sacred to restrict those rights is a dangerous portent of further restrictions to come. Abortion rights must therefore be protected at all costs, and the Supreme Court’s ruling today was a major victory in that fight.


Drafting a Feminist Constitution

What might a feminist society look like? In The Feminist Utopia Project, contributors including Janet Mock, Victoria Law and Melissa Harris-Perry imagine exciting possible alternatives and futures. This remarkable anthology addresses what work, sex, birth control, parenting, the Constitution, mental health care, the food industry and dozens of other aspects of our lives might look like in a better world. Order the book today by making a donation to Truthout!

Feminist Utopia Project

Original illustration by Ruth Tam, from The Feminist Utopia Project. (The Feminist Press)


What if, instead of being mummified by lofty obscurity, law lived up to its potential? Law, after all, defines our obligations to one another and establishes that latticework of mutual bonds that connect us as citizens and unite us through our highest principles. Law grants utterance to our collective priorities, our aspirations, our hopes, and our realities; it bespeaks the society we wish to be. We are the law, and the law is us. Constitutions are the marble foundation of such laws, the ultimate list of priorities, in a sense. They are composed of a given society’s red lines and safe words. At their best, they guide a nation toward its dreams. Yet America’s constitution has had little to no input from women or people of color – the majority of the people. Although our constitution has inspired generations, even those that it leaves in the cold, it remains a dim ember of its true potential.

Now picture a constitutional convention not dominated by landowners, men, colonizers, or the independently wealthy. Instead, picture a cybernetic congress harnessing the aspirations of all people, hashed out collectively, rebooting the constitutional enterprise with an entirely new syntax. Imagine a convention where marginalized voices were not peripheral but at the heart of the discussion, informing a complex discourse on rights and responsibilities that mapped onto the contours of real lives.

Across a million screens such discourse would flicker, a neon haze of a convention that would draft a true people’s constitution that was truly for us. A constitution for the whole of humanity, not cuffed by an archaic notion of borders. A constitution that not only keeps government out of our lives when we don’t want it but also ensures its support for individuals and groups when we need it.

A feminist constitution.

Here is a starting place:

We the People, in Order to Defend Our Humanity…

Much has been made of the poetically expressed right to the “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. While it is in no way legally binding, it is an idea that still powerfully shapes our sense of the evanescent, intangible part of liberty and has played host to the projections of countless interested parties through the centuries. Whatever happiness means to you, it seems there’s some musing about a right to have it in that epistolary founding document.

(Image: The Feminist Press)(Image: The Feminist Press)

But that idea is terribly limiting. Happiness is not, as some might suggest, the ultimate goal of life. A good word to consider in lieu of “happiness” is the ancient Greek wordeudaimonia. It is often mistranslated as “happiness,” revealing how beholden we are to this diminished view of human flourishing in the modern age, but it is better understood as meaning “living a good life for a human being.” It means to flourish in a fullness of practice, to dance through a full range of human experience – from the most pleasurable emotions, states, and practices to the thoroughly unpleasant ones. It means to live a life of meaning.

Eudaimonia excludes oppression: anything that restrains the full flight of your humanity, a flight on which you may make your own mistakes and endure your own pain. A eudaimonic constitution, then, would concern itself with providing for the preconditions of human flourishing. This is the approach a feminist constitution would take.

…Establish Justice, Ensure Freedom From Violence, and Freedom to Be

It would, of course, organize a government – and, for the purposes of our utopian dream, let us suppose that this “government” could take any form: collectivist or hierarchical – but it would place the rights and responsibilities of the people who made up the society at its very center.

Our constitution would begin with the negative liberties. While the current US Constitution outlines various freedoms “from” government intrusion, our constitution would also define freedom from other collective forces: corporations, majority religions, gender norms, prejudicial violence, wealth inequality, and so on. It would make provision for the fact that a child being bullied in school for her sexual orientation, or one forced to live under a highway overpass, could never feel free; it would acknowledge that freedom is not abstract but lived.

Our new constitution would recognize that liberty cannot only be conceived as negative freedoms from intrusion but also ought to be framed in terms of positive freedoms – the freedom “to be.” That bullied child or homeless neighbor cannot be free without government support. While government can limit freedom, it is also necessary for its full realization. Here lie our guarantees of gainful employment, education, health care, security, and shelter. And this positive freedom branches off to a number of fascinating places.

For example, consider the freedom to create the community you want. Today, American law would understand this as a freedom from intrusion into your private life. But what if instead we saw it as freedom to build a family of any shape and size with society’s material support behind you, including multigenerational households, queer houses, poly families, and more, all recognized as valid families worthy of any number of material accommodations provided by the government – special homes, financial remittances, childcare, freedom from policing kinship? The feminist constitution would ensure that no one would prohibit your community, and further, that the law and government would help you build it.

The Right of a Person to Have Sovereignty Over Their Body Shall Not Be Infringed…

While the right to be would surely encompass the right to bodily autonomy, the feminist constitution, unlike the US Constitution, would explicitly establish this guarantee as both a negative and positive liberty.

For too long, the notion of a constitutional right to privacy – a negative right from intrusion rather than a right to something – has been the precarious foundation for the jurisprudence of women’s liberty. For example, it serves as the legal reasoning for a woman’s right to an abortion. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas’s famous argument was that a right to privacy existed in the “penumbras” and “emanations” of other constitutional rights; this legal innovation, so essential for so many, was nevertheless a sign of our constitution’s fundamental inequality. In spite of its lofty symbolism, it remains chronically inadequate for the tasks of mass democracy.

A right to privacy divined in such a way – while providing a theoretical guarantee against government intrusion – also inoculates the government from any obligation to ensure that a person can access an abortion. If it is a private affair, it can neither be publicly funded nor publicly guaranteed.

A right to privacy is essential, but what is violated when a person is denied the right to an abortion is only thinly connected to privacy. She is being denied her right to bodily autonomy (not yet recognized in American law). The same is true of trans women denied public funding for health care, hormone therapy, and reassignment surgeries; or when someone is arrested for carrying condoms because they can be used as “evidence” by police to claim that person is a sex worker; or when women of color are arrested for “manifesting prostitution” simply for expressing their political views, by leaning in to talk to someone through a car window, or asking police officers to identify themselves, as Arizona state law currently permits.

But the common denominator here is a question of bodily autonomy, which disarticulates into these crucial concerns: what our bodies are for, how we may put them to use, and who ultimately gets to decide. At present, our abstractly thin rights to contraception and reproductive choice are guarded by a right that is, at best, orthogonal to it. A true constitution that guarded us all would spell out a right to bodily autonomy unambiguously. “My body, my choice” would be at the core of this constitution, not an afterthought that we struggle to pin to words written neither by nor for us.

…and Liberty of Both Kith and Self Shall Be Secure

These constitutional guarantees are further cemented by the idea that groups, as well as individuals, have rights. Currently, American courts treat individuals, not groups, as the carriers of rights, but this notion in practice often ends up annihilating meaningful individual freedom when it is under threat from informal collective forces like racism, sexism, or queerphobia. The health of communities would have to be seen as intimately related to the health and welfare of individuals: our constitution would see groups in society as rights holders. Such a perspective would obviate the individualization of terroristic crimes like rape, revealing them instead as human rights violations that constitute a crime against the body politic as well as an individual person.

This differs sharply from “corporate personhood,” which allows a corporate entity’s “rights” to trump that of the individual – by protecting individual rights through the prism of the group, not taking them away. But our utopian constitution understands that one cannot live freely if one exists in a collective under constant attack, say on account of gender, sexuality, or race – these are identities not bounded by strict spatial limits the way a corporation is.

This nimble vision allows for a fuller constitutional recognition of where meaningful rights lie and how they may be defended and made real. It codifies the idea that we must all stand together to guarantee one another’s rights.

These Rights Shall Not Be Subject to the Vagaries of Markets or Depravation

An ideal constitution would take this seriously and begin from the premise of autonomy, woven into collective responsibility. In other words, we should not only avoid hindering each other’s lives but also share in the responsibility for helping one another secure the conditions of a livable life, through guaranteed public funding for health, education, transport, housing, and energy on hitherto unimagined scales. Imagine if privatizing a school or a railway line was understood as a violation of peoples’ rights; the right to access such things helps to secure other rights.

Not only would there be a right to reproductive health care as such, but also a shared understanding that this right can only be said to exist if any person, anywhere, is able to materially access that care – again, a freedom to, not just a freedom from. We could not allow cost or distance to be obstacles. To have a right to reproductive health care would mean, in a way clearly spelled out in constitutionally florid script, a right to feel it, touch it, and sense it, at no cost to you. It would be what we owe one another.

This would mean that reproductive health care would be publicly funded, up to and including all transport costs; contraception, being essential to such health, would also not be subject to one’s ability to afford it.

This connection, between the immanent right one possesses and the guaranteed material means of living that right, would be the new constitutional framework whence all else would follow.

These rights would not be penumbras and emanations. They would be the bright suns unto themselves.

All Shall Have a Right to the Conditions Necessary for Life and to Dignity

The term “right to life” was long ago co-opted by the Far Right in their quest to invent personhood for fetuses even as it was denied to women. But what would a true right to life applied to us all look like?

A right to life for transgender people would mean a right to all the medical care and self-alteration necessary to fashion a livable life for ourselves, along the same lines of our hypothetical right to reproductive health care, and inaugurated for the same reasons. A right to life, period, would mean a right to a home, a right to food, a right to be free from prejudice and its manifold violent manifestations. It would mean fundamentally rethinking “criminal justice” and regarding the mission of any system worthy of that name as one that puts rehabilitation and community building at the center of its enterprises.

What results is a jurisprudence that is meaningfully intersectional, responds to the intricate questions of life and law with grace, and begins from the experiential reality of the lives of real people. The high-minded obscurity of constitutional law is a symptom of its origins, a vision of society that flies high at ten-thousand feet.

But a feminist constitution begins from the ground up: it asks what we need in order to live and flourish and then provides the sustenance for it, for it trusts us to know what we need to be free.

Ruth Tam is a web producer at DC’s NPR affiliate, WAMU. She has written and illustrated for the Washington Post, PBS NewsHour and Global Post. She lives in Washington, DC, where she enjoys cheese, beer and talking to strangers.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.


Katherine Cross is a published sociologist and PhD student at the CUNY Graduate Center. She also serves on the board of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and the Third Wave Fund in New York City.


Women Deserve YES on Measure 89

By David Schuman

OCT. 16, 2014

Opponents of Measure 89, which would add to the Oregon Constitution an amendment prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, argue that our constitution already prohibits such discrimination. They also note that our state constitution — the longest in the nation — already is cluttered with unnecessary provisions, and an Equal Rights Amendment would just make things worse.

I agree with those arguments. I’m going to vote for Measure 89 anyway. Here’s why.

Article I, Section 20, of the Oregon Constitution provides that when state or local governments provide individuals or classes of individuals “privileges or immunities,” those benefits must be made available “on the same terms,” equally, to all citizens. When first enacted along with the rest of the Oregon Constitution in 1859, the Privileges and Immunities Clause was not intended to prohibit discrimination against minority groups; we know that, because the voters who ratified it also voted to prohibit African-Americans from living in Oregon, and statutes (fortunately never enforced) called for whipping those who refused to leave.

The clause probably was designed to prohibit the Legislature from granting special economic favors to insiders or cronies.

However, for at least the past 33 years, the Oregon Supreme Court has held that Article I, Section 20, is this state’s version of the Equal Protection Clause in the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting invidious discrimination based on race, religion, gender and other traits unrelated to merit. In fact, the court has held that the Privileges and Immunities Clause provides even stronger protections against gender discrimination than its federal counterpart.

That is why I agree that Measure 89 would duplicate existing state constitutional bans on gender discrimination.

However, what the Oregon Supreme Court gives, it can also take away. There is no guarantee that future Supreme Court justices will refrain from reinterpreting Article I, Section 20, in such a way as to diminish protections against gender discrimination.

The possibility of reinterpretation is not limited to some doomsday takeover by partisan fanatics. The current court — all of whose members, I hasten to add, are my friends in whose fairness, intelligence and freedom from bias I have complete confidence — has, nonetheless, shown a conspicuous willingness to overrule precedent, particularly when doing so is, in their eyes, compelled by “original intent” and “plain text” — both of which could excuse rolling back the protections against invidious discrimination that for decades have inhered in Article I, Section 20.

In most of the cases where the court has overruled precedent, it has been urged to do so by lawyers for the Oregon Department of Justice. That is so because the cases usually involve the enforcement of criminal laws; the person claiming that law enforcement violated his or her constitutional rights is usually a criminal defendant seeking the suppression of unconstitutionally seized evidence or the invalidation of an allegedly discriminatory statute.

Ominously, for purposes of gender equality, the Department of Justice recently submitted a brief to the court urging it to disavow the long-standing interpretation of Article I, Section 20, and to hold instead that the Privileges and Immunities Clause prohibits only what it was intended to prohibit 155 years ago, when slavery was still flourishing in much of the country and women couldn’t hold property, enter into contracts or vote.

The court rejected that argument — for now. I hope and believe that current and future lawyers in the Department of Justice will avoid such arguments, which may serve legitimate purposes in individual criminal cases but poorly serve the majority of citizens who are not involved in crime. If such arguments are advanced, I hope that future Supreme Courts will continue to reject them.

If they don’t, one might ask, wouldn’t women still have the protection against invidious discrimination afforded by the Equal Protection Clause? The answer is that they will — but that such protection is weaker than what’s currently available under Article I, Section 20, and the current United States Supreme Court has not been, to put it mildly, friendly to gender equality claims. In other words, if in the future Department of Justice lawyers continue to urge the court to reinterpret Article I, Section 20, and the court ultimately complies, women’s claims for equal treatment will be substantially weakened.

I hope that doesn’t happen. But women in this state deserve more than hopes. They deserve Measure 89.

“David Schuman taught federal and Oregon constitutional law at the University of Oregon School of Law from 1987 through 1996, and will rejoin its faculty in 2015. He was the Oregon deputy attorney general from 1997 through 2000, and served as a judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals from 2001 until his retirement.”


We (Still) Need the ERA: 9 Reasons Why, 9 Decades Into the Fight

In 1923, Alice Paul first introduced the Equal Rights Amendment to members of Congress. After a flurry of national attention in the 1970s and an all-out war over the would-be Amendment in the early 1980s, full ratification of the ERA – and with it, the first Constitutional acknowledgement of gender inequality – continues to elude us.

IMG_9646After nine decades, here are nine reasons we still need the Equal Rights Amendment.

9. A sitting Supreme Court Justice believes the Constitution does notprohibit sex discrimination.

via Steve Masker

In a 2011 interview with the California Lawyer, the Supreme Court Justice so articulately affirmed the Constitution’s lack of protection against sex-based discrimination: “You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that.”

8. Female earning power is still stuck at 77 cents to a man’s dollar, even though there are more female-led households than ever before.

via  Shutterstock.com

According to the Pew Research Center, the number of female-led households and female-as-breadwinner households, has quadrupled since 1960. In more than 40 percent of all US households, women are the primary breadwinners or heads of households.

7. Having a child means wage bonuses for men, but wage penalties for women.

via  Shutterstock.com

Third Way found that fatherhood actually increases men’s earnings by over 6 percent. But married mothers with minor children experience the biggest wage gaps.

6. The burden of proof for sex discrimination cases still rests with victims instead of offenders.

via Sudhamshu

Under existing laws, victims must prove that an offender has discriminated against them on the basis of sex. If the ERA were ratified, the burden of proof would shift to offenders, requiring them to prove they did not violate the Constitution.

5. Congress actually considered not reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act last year.

via Ron Cogswell

For the first time in the law’s 20-year history, the 112th Congress allowed VAWA to expire because of opposition to expanded protections for Native American women, LGBT survivors, and immigrant women fearing deportation. Worse, in 2012 the House voted along party lines to roll back protections granted by the Violence Against Women Act.

4. The Constitution does not protect women survivors of violence who take legal action, and apparently, in some cases it’s illegal for Congress to do so.

via Shutterstock.com

In 1994, Christy Brzonkala, a student at Virginia Tech, attempted to sue her alleged rapists and the University using the newly-minted civil rights remedy under VAWA.Then-Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote that there was nothing the federal court could do. She’d have to try again at the state level. Read Christy’s story.

3. Pregnancy discrimination leaves women vulnerable to loss of employment if they decide to have children.

via  Shutterstock

Peggy Young worked for UPS for 7 years before she became pregnant. Despite a policy permitting light-duty assignments, Young was denied accommodations during her pregnancy and lost a suit against UPS under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Heather Wiseman, a sales floor associate at Wal-Mart, began carrying water at work due to health issues resulting from her pregnancy. When she was denied this accommodation and subsequently fired for insubordination, she sued Wal-Mart in federal court for retaliation. She also lost.

Despite gains for women like the Equal Pay Act of 1963, pregnant workers continue to face an onslaught of discrimination from their employers – and fail to receive justice when they take legal recourse.

2. We’re in the midst of a clinics crisis and an all-out war on reproductive rights.

via Guttmacher Institute

In their 2014 report addressing the rise of abortion restrictions, the Guttmacher Institute called attention to the “unprecedented wave” of state-based abortion restrictions. In 2013, nearly half of all states in the US passed some kind of anti-abortion measure, effectively restricting individuals’ access to comprehensive, Constitutionally-defended reproductive healthcare. With the Supreme Court’s ruling in “Hobby Lobby”, the highest court in the land further affirmed the pattern of trampling women’s reproductive healthcare options, complicating the process of obtaining truly affordable, responsible, reproductive care.

1. It’s been 91 years. Enough already!

via Library of Congress

Really, unratified states? Really? The Equal Rights Amendment simply makes sense. Passing laws that elevate the status of women where they belong shouldn’t take 91 years. Really. Give the ghost of Alice Paul a break.


Come out this Saturday, September 13th for the #Rally4Equality2014 on the Capitol lawn!

Ginsburg: Make ERA Part of the Constitution

Ginsburg: Make ERA Part of the Constitution

She’d like her granddaughters to see that gender equality is a ‘basic principle of our society.’

So call her an activist judge, but on Thursday night Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she’d like to see the Equal Rights Amendment tacked on to the Constitution.

“If I could choose an amendment to add to the Constitution, it would be the Equal Rights Amendment,” Ginsburg said to an audience at the National Press Club. The 1970s-era Equal Rights Amendment, which guarantees equal rights for women, came just three states short of passage back then and received renewed interest when President Barack Obama was elected in 2008. But still, no dice.

[READ: A Scalia Dissent Once Ruined Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Weekend]

“I think we have achieved that through legislation, but legislation can be repealed, it can be altered,” Ginsburg continued. “So I would like my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to see that notion – that women and men are persons of equal stature – I’d like them to see that is a basic principle of our society.”

The liberal Ginsburg made a joint appearance with her high court best buddy, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, for a taping of the Kalb Report. Both justices agreed that it’s too hard to amend the Constitution, but Scalia clearly had a differing opinion on the ERA.

“You don’t want me to comment on that, do you?” Scalia said after Ginsburg made her pro-ERA remarks. “No, I don’t want you to comment,” she said, laughing.

Nikki Schwab is a reporter for U.S. News and World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at nschwab@usnews.com.

Help Oregon get an ERA in the Oregon Constitution! VoteERA.org

Double Your $$ for Equal Rights for Women

Double Your $$ for Equal Rights for Women

Have your donation of $5 or more to VoteERA.org doubled and help expressly guarantee equal rights for women in the Oregon Constitution. This weekend only I will match any donation of $5 or more made as a “Gift Donation In Honor of MLK” up to a total of $200. Just make sure your donation is made before 10 p.m. on Monday, January 20, 2014 and that it is made as a “Gift Donation In honor of MLK”.  DONATE here.

Matching Donation for Oregon ERA Deadline Tomorrow (December 6)

Matching Donation for Oregon ERA Deadline Tomorrow (December 6)

Woo Hoo-We received our certified ballot title from the Oregon Attorney General and it is great!

With 82% of Oregonians supporting the ERA, we know that if we get the ERA on the ballot it will pass. (see poll results on homepage of VoteERA.org

Passing the ERA in Oregon creates momentum for effort in passing the federal ERA, which 6 out of 7 Oregon congressional delegates are sponsoring!

Will you help us? Placing the ERA in the Oregon Constitution provides express equality for girls and women in our Oregon Constitution! The ERA provides constitutional protection against sex discrimination.





Here is our certified ballot title for the November 2014 General Election:


: Amends Constitution: State/political subdivision shall not deny or abridge equality of rights on account of sex.


Result of “” Vote: “” vote amends state constitution, prohibits state and any political subdivision from 

denying or abridging equality of rights under the law on account of sex.


Result of “” Vote: ” vote retains current prohibition on laws granting/denying privileges or immunities on account

of sex, unless justified by specific biological differences between men/women.


: Under Article I, Section 20, of the Oregon Constitution, laws granting privileges or immunities must apply 

equally to all persons.  The Oregon Supreme Court has held that that provision prohibits laws treating people differently

based on sex unless justified by specific biological differences.  No current provision in constitution expressly states 

that prohibition.  Measure amends Article I by creating new section 46, which provides that equality of rights under the 

law shall not be denied or abridged by the state or any political subdivision on account of sex.  Measure authorizes

legislature to enforce that provision by appropriate legislation.  Measure provides that nothing in section 46 “shall

diminish a right otherwise available to persons under section 20 of this Article or any other provision of this Constitution.”