Abortion Bans Are Sex Discrimination. Here’s How the ERA Can Challenge Restrictions on Abortion

On Jan. 29, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a law banning Medicaid funding for abortion discriminates against women, in violation of the state’s Equal Rights Amendment. The decision overturned a 1985 case saying the ERA did not apply to abortion.

“The Pennsylvania case is so sweeping and strong in the way that it identifies interference with reproductive decision-making as a form of sex discrimination and as part of the historic pattern of oppression of women. It’s really beautiful,” said Susan J. Frietsche, co-executive director of the Women’s Law Project, which filed the case on behalf of Pennsylvania abortion providers.

(This essay is part of “The ERA Is Essential to Democracy” Women & Democracy collection. It also appears in the Spring 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)