The Equal Rights Amendment is not what you think it is. While it may sound good, it would have unintended consequences that would hurt, not help, women.

After sitting dormant for decades, the “equal rights” debate was recently reignited by special interest groups. A number of states have begun voting on the ERA in an effort to ratify the amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And Congress is now considering removing the 1982 ratification deadline for the ERA.

It is urgent that you speak up now to stop the ERA from advancing.

The truth is: women don’t need the ERA. Women are already equal under the law. And women’s rights are already protected by the Constitution, including the 14th and 19th Amendments, and several federal and state laws.

The ERA would backfire on women. It would throw into jeopardy a wide range of policies and programs designed to support women by making it legally questionable to recognize differences between the sexes. There are hundreds, if not thousand, of laws that distinguish between men and women or provide benefits to women that would be nullified by the ERA.

For example, if interpreted broadly by judges, policies and programs -- such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); spousal Social Security benefits; child custody cases; or even federal grants that attempt to increase the number of women in STEM fields -- would be at risk. And the ERA would throw into question whether jails or restrooms, dorm rooms, and locker rooms in government buildings (such as public schools) could remain single sex.

"Equal" doesn't mean "same." Ending all sex segregation where it is helpful would make women more vulnerable to harassment and violence -- not less.

Urge your legislators to deny any deadline lifts on the Equal Rights Amendment. Use the form to email, tweet, or call them today.