State Senator Bush


SPRINGFIELD – A longtime advocate for women’s rights, Senator Melinda Bush continues to fight for equal protection for women on what should have been the effective date of the Equal Rights Amendment.

“All states need to correct the shameful failure of our Constitution to ensure women are explicitly protected against discrimination,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “Women deserve the same legal protections as men.”

Under the federal constitution, there is not a provision that expressly guarantees equality on the basis of sex. The proposed Equal Rights Amendment would grant such rights.

In 2018, Bush led efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, making Illinois the 37th state to do so. Under the U.S. Constitution, amendments become law once ratified by at least three-fourths of U.S. state legislatures — or 38 out of 50. Virginia became the 38th state in January 2020. 

The amendment’s ban on sex-based discrimination under the law was to take effect two years after ratification, per the language of the ERA – which falls Jan. 27, 2022.

But because of questions over the effectiveness of the deadline added by Congress, its future continues to be on uncertain legal ground, awaiting official recognition. Bush joins a number of supporters across the country to celebrate what they believe should be the effective date of the 28th Amendment while calling for action at the federal level.

 “It’s time to finally say ‘enough is enough.’ It’s the 21st Century,” Bush said. “How much longer do women have to wait to be given equal protection?”

Bush vows to continue to fight for the ERA’s official recognition.