Durkin, House Republicans put ERA over the top
Illinois House GOP Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and 10 House Republicans 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 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 10 Republicans voting "yes" were Durkin, state Reps. Steven Andersson (R-Geneva), David Harris (R-Arlington Heights), Chad Hays (R-Danville), Dan Brady (R-Bloomington), David Olsen (R-Downers Grove), Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley), Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), David Welter (R-Morris) and Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale).
Andersson, Hays, Harris and Pritchard are not running for re-election.
Five Democrats voted "no," including state Reps. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan), Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), Natalie Finnie (D-Harrisburg), Jerry Costello, Jr. (D-Smithton) and 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.
Organizations in this Story
Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin • Illinois Representative Chad Hays (R-104th) • Illinois Representative Christine Winger (R-45th) • Illinois Representative Dan Brady (R-105th) • Illinois Representative David Harris (R-53rd) • Illinois Representative Grant Wehrli (R-41st) • Illinois Representative Robert W. Pritchard (R-70th) • Illinois State Representative David Welter • Illinois State Representative Steven Andersson