Hays, House Republicans put ERA over the top
Ten House Republicans, including State Rep. Chad Hays (R-Danville), voted in favor of a measure that would make female-only bathrooms, prisons, schools, and shelters unconstitutional, require women to serve in military combat roles and ban any public accommodation for pregnant women.
A resolution in support of the so-called "Equal Rights Amendment" (ERA) passed the chamber 72-45 Wednesday night, six weeks after it passed the Illinois Senate and 36 years after the deadline for ratification of the proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The ten Republicans voting 'yes' were Hays, House GOP Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), State Rep. Steven Andersson (R-Geneva), State Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights), State Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington), State Rep. David Olsen (R-Downers Grove), State Rep. Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley), State Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), State Rep. David Welter (R-Morris) and State Rep. Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale).
Andersson, Hays, Harris and Pritchard are not running for re-election.
Five Democrats voted 'no,' including State Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan), State Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), State Rep. Natalie Finnie (D-Harrisburg), State Rep. Jerry Costello, Jr. (D-Smithton) and State Rep. Monica Bristow (D-Godfrey).
Finnie, Costello and Bristow face competitive elections this fall.
Many argue that ERA would also make any restriction on abortion, which is only performed on women, unconstitutional and require taxpayer funding of the procedure by way of Medicaid.
To be sure, pro-abortion activist groups like Women's March Chicago praised the vote, calling it a "landmark feat for the women's movement."
ERA went to the states for ratification in 1972; the deadline for states was June 30, 1982.
Supporters of ratification votes today are hoping to spur a court fight that would extend the deadline indefinitely.