Pro-Life Groups Withdraw Support from Republican Senators that Supported the ERA

Written by John Biver

The leaders of six pro-life organizations issued a public statement on Friday criticizing the 8 Republican state senators who joined the Democrats this past week to pass the “Equal Rights” Amendment (ERA).

In the letter, the pro-life leaders mention that left-wing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has admitted that the “intended scope of the ERA is to greatly increase the scrutiny of pro-life legislation.”

A vote for the ERA is a vote for overturning abortion restrictions and enshrining abortion rights in the U.S. Constitution. A vote for the ERA is a vote against the unborn child. State court judges have held that their state ERAs mandate “HB 40” style taxpayer funding of elective abortions. The ERA further threatens parental notification and consent laws throughout the country, along with every other reasonable regulation on abortion.

The eight Republican politicians who voted in favor of the ERA are:

  • Senator Pamela Althoff
  • Senator Michael Connelly
  • Senator Karen McConnaughay
  • Senator Jason Barickman
  • Senator John Curran
  • Senator Chris Nybo
  • Senator Sue Rezin
  • Senator Tom Rooney

The statement also says:

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.

Here are the letter’s signatories:

  • Dawn Behnke, Chairman of Illinois Federation for Right to Life PAC
  • Ralph Rivera, Chairman of the Illinois Federation for Right to Life PAC
  • Bonnie Quirke, President of Illinois Citizens for Life PAC
  • Elise Bouc, State Chairman of Illinois-Stop ERA
  • Rev. Robert Vanden Bosch, Concerned Christian Americans
  • David E. Smith, Executive Director Illinois Family Action PAC

After Governor Rauner signed HB 40 last year, which legalized the use of taxpayer-funding for abortions, conservatives had enough. Across the state the grassroots stepped up and spoke out against this impostor. And for the first time in a very long time, a good number of state and local legislators publicly withdrew their support from Rauner going into the primary election.

Now, pro-life organizations are publicly responding to the feckless votes of 8 Republican state senators. Their support of the mis-named Equal Rights Amendment is seen as a major betrayal.

The IFA’s Dave Smith expressed shock at their vote: “I still cannot believe these supposedly pro-life lawmakers voted with Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and Equality Illinois in favor of the ERA.”

The ERA is not a new issue, so pro-life members of the Illinois General Assembly have no excuse for being unaware of the pro-abortion nature of it.

Smith added:

These lawmakers spit on the memory of Phyllis Schlafly and instead embraced the agenda of the pink hat ‘nasty women’ crowd. This is an epic failure on the part of Republican leadership in Springfield. For 40 years conservatives fought to block this amendment from advancing in Illinois. This week, to our shock and dismay, 8 Republicans decided that a politically expedient route was more important than fighting for principle. In short, they chose to protect their political aspirations instead of fighting a pernicious anti-life, anti-family agenda.

The Illinois Family Institute’s (IFI) website contains a lot of information readily available about what the ERA is really all about. IFI also has a one-page document titled “The ‘Equal Rights’ Amendment is a War on Women,” addresses the many problems with the ERA, including these:

  • The ERA will strip away current legal protections for women by striking down laws that favor one gender over another.
  • Women in Combat — The ERA will force more women into front line combat.
  • Abortion — The ERA will strike down parental notification and consent laws that protect young girls.
  • Widows who have chosen to stay home to raise families will be unable to receive their late husband’s Social Security benefits.
  • Single-sex restrooms and locker rooms will remove privacy protections for everyone.

This short document also notes that the ERA has been rejected by the Illinois Legislature thirteen times and cites a report by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg titled, “Sex Bias in the U.S. Code” that the ERA will change at least 800 federal laws.”

The fight now moves to the state house, and the letter from the pro-life leaders issues this warning:

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.

There needs to be a consequence when legislators cast a vote that is indefensible. Political expediency cannot be tolerated when the lives of unborn children are at stake.


Have you given the IFA weekly podcast a listen yet? Illinois Family Spotlight highlights cultural and political issues of particular interest and relevance to Christian conservatives in Illinois. You can find Spotlight on podcast applications like Google Play Music, iTunes, SoundCloud, Pocket Casts, and Stitcher.  You can also listen to our podcasts HERE on our website.

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Modified by Matthew Medlen.com