Bismarck, ND – Moments before the state legislature was set to gavel in today, NDGOP House leaders decided to call a sudden, last-minute vote to strip women of their rights – and their dignity – by enacting SCR 4010, which declares North Dakota’s 1975 ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment null and void. In a truly gutless maneuver, the bill’s passage was decided by voice vote – a telltale sign of just how aware they are of the despicable and backwards position they’ve taken, especially during Women’s History Month.
Last month, the NDGOP Senate adopted the resolution with the same, spineless secrecy of a thief in the night. Because no member of the Extremist Far-Right Supermajority had the courage to speak up against rescinding the ERA before the votes were taken, and in the absence of a formal roll call, we can only conclude that their legislators were unanimous in their shared contempt for the basic rights of women and young girls in our state, and across the county. The vote to enact SCR 4010 comes one day after Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) voted against reauthorizing the “Violence Against Women Act”, and a mere three days after a mass shooting targeting Atlanta-area spas that claimed the lives of 6 Asian women sparked national outrage.
Democratic-NPL Chair, Kylie Oversen, condemned the passage, saying:
“In the midst of a pandemic that has been especially devastating to women, it is tone deaf at best and dangerous at worst to blatantly walk back support for equal rights for women. There is no excuse or reason for this legally questionable vote, and the bald-faced lies being spread by the NDGOP about this resolution are exhausting. We should be supporting policies like paid family leave, equal pay, and protections for victims of domestic violence. There was a time, not so long ago, when those were values shared by both parties. One can only wonder what happened to make the NDGOP so unabashedly misogynist in such a short amount of time?”
“Today’s vote, and the fact that this resolution was even introduced, was a slap in the face to every woman in the state of North Dakota. This entire legislative session has been a slap in the face to common decency and basic human rights. We are left with zero indication from the NDGOP that they even care at all about the basic needs, and inalienable rights, of North Dakotans – choosing instead to pander to out-of-touch, out-of-state extremists. The same legislators who supported this intolerant, prejudiced bill are the very same people trying to spread misinformation and fear against transgender individuals under the guise of “protecting women.” Through their own actions, and misdeeds, it has been made abundantly clear that what all of us truly need protection from is the NDGOP.”