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Groups vow: Vote for ERA, lose pro-life endorsement

Friday, Apr 13, 2018

* Illinois Review

Six major prolife leaders signed a statement Friday morning declaring they would withhold endorsements of Republican Senate members that voted for the ERA this week in Springfield. The lack of enthusiasm among conservatives could be even more devastating for Illinois Republicans down ballot that are already preparing for a low turnout in the fall.

The state’s prolife leadership points to eight Republicans - despite self-declarations that they’re ‘prolife’ - that the groups will not encourage voters to support in the November election: Senator Pamela Althoff (R), Senator Michael Connelly (R), Senator Karen McConnaughay (R), Senator Jason A. Barickman (R), Senator John F. Curran (R), Senator Chris Nybo (R), Senator Sue Rezin (R), and Senator Tom Rooney (R).

* From the statement

A vote for the ERA is a vote for overturning abortion restrictions and enshrining abortion rights in the US Constitution. A vote for the ERA is a vote against the unborn child. State court judges have held that their state ERAs mandate “HB40” style taxpayer funding of elective abortions. The ERA further threatens parental notification and consent laws throughout the country, along with every reasonable regulation on abortion.

The fight now goes to the House. The Illinois Federation for Right to Life PAC, Illinois Citizens for Life PAC, Illinois Family Action PAC, and Lake County Life PAC will not endorse or support any legislator that casts a vote for such a sweeping pro-abortion piece of legislation as the ERA. […]

While we are disappointed with all 43 Senators who voted for abortion, we are gravely disturbed by those who solicited pro-life support and presented themselves as pro-life but voted for the ERA. Their vote was a vote in opposition to life and will not be ignored by the undersigned.

That statement could very well cause problems for the House’s passage efforts.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Northsider (the original) - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    I honestly read it and thought this was a throwback Friday retread from 1981.

  2. - Saluki - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:03 pm:

    I appreciate the work that various Right to Life groups do in Illinois. Unfortunately it’s a lost cause here. The U.S. population is self sorting and Illinois will only continue to get more and more liberal until the fight to keep life sacred in Illinois will be futile.

  3. - hot chocolate - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:15 pm:

    Didn’t Rauner already do all the enshrining that’s necessary? Regardless of what the ERA says HB 40 is the law

  4. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:18 pm:

    Shouldn’t this be under the “Circular Firing Squad” category?

  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:19 pm:

    Here’s my take.


    That’s the SSM tally for the GOP.

    If the Party wants to choose a 1970s take on the ERA and be put into a position to be behind where Indies and moderates may fall on this… in Illinois… then vote against it.

    If we as a Party decide, like SSM, it’s a litmus test for purity of an age 30+ years ago… then we’re excluding a while bunch of voters, for “collective think”.


    That’s still fresh out there.

  6. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    Pick your battles, pro-life movement.

    This is a super stupid waste of pro-life political capital.

    There are women who could be willing to support some or most of the pro-life agenda but when these advocacy groups treat women trying to get a token resolution passed to support the notion of equal pay and equal job protections as akin to support for terminating pregnancy they just totally tank their ability to get more widespread support.

    Cheers to Jason Barickman who voted his conscience here, just as he did on same-sex marriage and with his position on marijuana, despite his stance not being the safe Republican position for his downstate district. And what has been the result? Zero primary challenge and not even a Democratic challenge in the general election.

    C’mon House Republicans. Tell these activists to chill out on this one.

  7. - Incognito - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    Althoff is retiring, no?

  8. - A Jack - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    This is one of those gotcha votes that will cause Republicans pain regardless of how they vote. If they vote against, they aren’t supporting #MeToo. If they vote for the bill, then they lose pro-life endorsements.

    Meanwhile, even if it passes, ERA is expired and won’t likely be added to the Constitution anyway.

  9. - Concerned Dem - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:24 pm:

    Ok… here is the text of the ERA:

    Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification

    Where are the authors of this vote no ultimatum finding the “anti” pro life language?

  10. - GA Watcher - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:24 pm:

    Senator Althoff is retiring as a State Senator, but running for McHenry County Board.

  11. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    I completely disagree.
    Resurrecting the ERA doesn’t make it an amendment.
    Don’t lose your political life on this hill.
    It’s another political stunt. Don’t add to it.

  12. - Undiscovered country - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    This is pretty ironic considering the fact that Senator Rooney got his start, if I remember correctly, as part of Penny Pullen’s team. To go from Team Pullen to being excommunicated over the ERA is quite the fall from grace. All because we can’t find a way to assure gender equity without undermining the goal of overturning a 45 year old supreme court decision. Makes me wonder what the pro-life community would offer as an alternative? Surely God did not intend to make women perpetually inferior to men? So where is the Pro-life’s “Equal Rights except for abortion amendment” language?

  13. - Blono McDem - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    What does the ERA amendment have anything to do with abortion rights?
    “Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
    I see no mention of abortion or the right to choose in there.

  14. - Retired Educator - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    The gauntlet has been tossed. The pro-life groups are making their position clear. This “is damned if you do moment” for many legislatures. It will be interesting how many take the threat seriously.

  15. - Radio Flyer - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    “What does the ERA amendment have anything to do with abortion rights?”

    Nothing. Nothing at all.

    The prolife leaders are anti-women.

  16. - lake county democrat - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:44 pm:

    Does anyone doubt for one second that if the ERA was enacted these folks would insist that it *doesn’t* create a Constitutional right to an abortion and Roe v. Wade was still capable of being overturned?

  17. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:50 pm:

    yep, just what we thought. the “pro life’ movement is really an anti women’s agency movement.

  18. - walker - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    Interesting how the same folks who claim the ERA is unneeded because those rights are already in the Illinois Constitution, then turn around and call it a life-or-death vote.

  19. - Roman - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    Rooney, Nybo, Connelly, and Curran all represent districts that Hillary won and where more Dem primary ballots were pulled March 20th than GOP ballots. They are all in varying degrees of jeopardy if the Blue Wave materializes, particularly because each is facing a solid female Dem candidate. Voting “no” on the ERA would have put them at further risk.

    If the right-to-lifers were capable of even an ounce of political savvy, they’d give them a Mulligan on this one. But they won’t, which actually increases the chances of more pro-choice legislators joining the General Assembly.

  20. - Mike Cirrincione - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 1:54 pm:


    If you do not support the Constitutional Right to Privacy in Roe V Wade, then where else do you want the Government monitoring your life?

    That Supreme Court decision is the very essence of being a Small Governmment Conservative!

  21. - PJ - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    == these folks would insist that it *doesn’t* create a Constitutional right to an abortion ==

    How? How does “equal protection” equate to a cogent legal theory guaranteeing abortion rights? Unless someone can explain this to me, it sounds like fearmongering nonsense.

  22. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    The Supreme Court has already said abortion is a Constitutional right without the ERA. I’m not sure how the ERA matters when it comes to abortion.

  23. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    –I honestly read it and thought this was a throwback Friday retread from 1981.–

    I honestly read it and don’t have a clue as to what the heck they’re talking about. Not down on the esoterica, I guess.

    No worries. I’m currently reading “The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896,” another door-stopper, page-turner from the Oxford University of the United States.

    Highly recommended, all of them, to date. They’re the goods.

  24. - Nick Name - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 3:37 pm:

    ===Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.===

    Unless these pro-lifers think the ERA will extend abortion rights to men, I really have no idea what they’re talking about.

  25. - anon2 - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 3:42 pm:

    Phyllis Schlafly’s arguments still resound with the pro-life groups. The fact is that pro-life endorsements don’t matter much in general elections.

    OW reminds us that just 4 GOP legislators voted for SSM. Likewise, just a handful voted for medical marijuana and for abolition of the death penalty. I predict when cannabis legalization is enacted in Illinois, the large majority of Republicans will be against that, too.

  26. - schmakmama - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 3:58 pm:

    Just more proof that anti-choice is all about control over women’s bodies. They also want to outlaw birth control. All the regulation you can write that will fit into a womb.

  27. - Mama - Friday, Apr 13, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    What heck does ERA have to do with Pro-choice?

    Why are these people so afraid of Equal Rights for all?

  28. - Concerned - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    ERA absolutely impacts abortion. In several states with state versions of the ERA, state courts have mandated expanded taxpayer funding for elective Medicaid abortions based on their ERA’s prohibition of sex discrimination. The court rationale is that restricting access to abortion is a form of sex discrimination. They have also referred to the state ERAs as justification for overturning other abortion restrictions. It’s clear that a vote for the ERA is a vote for overturning all abortion restrictions and for exporting HB40 to all 50 states.

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