Patricia Arquette says women aren’t “treated with the same value as men in America,” and it’s time to make a change to the Constitution.
“We’ve waited long enough,” the former “Medium” star and Golden Globe-winner said Tuesday in Washington. “This is 2019, and it’s time for the United States of America to afford women the equal rights they have been denied in their own nation for so long.”
Arquette and actress Alyssa Milano were both on hand at the Capitol to add their voices in support of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
“My name is Alyssa Milano, and in 2019 I do not have equal rights in the Constitution,” said the former “Charmed” star and outspoken “Me Too” activist. “That’s right, because I have a vagina I do not have equality and justice,” Milano exclaimed.
Calling equality a “basic American ideal,” Milano said, “These rights are our birthright. But enshrining them in the Constitution is our responsibility.”
It’s not the first time Milano has pushed for ratifying the ERA — she testified at a shadow hearing last year on the same issue.
Congress approved the ERA in 1972, but only 35 states — three short of the number required to add it to the Constitution — ratified it ahead of the deadline.
Other states have ratified it since, though a measure in the Virginia state legislature to make it the 38th state to do so failed last week.
Constitutional amendments must be approved by two-thirds of both the U.S. House and Senate and ratified by three-fourths of the 50 states.
Congress’s deadline to secure the ERA expired in 1982.
“We have waited too long. We cannot wait another century, another decade, another year, or another month. We need constitutional protection for women,” Arquette, 50, said.
“Let me be clear,” Milano, 46, said during her remarks, “equality if not an issue of party. It’s not an issue of politics. It’s an issue of basic human dignity.”
The pair of Hollywood performers stood alongside Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.) and Jackie Speier (Calif.), among other supporters. Maloney is sponsoring legislation that would restart the amendment ratification process, while Speier is behind a joint resolution to remove the deadline for ERA ratification.
“Today in America women are under attack,” Maloney told the crowd. “Women must be in the Constitution if we are ever to safeguard our rights.”
Noting a statue of a woman called “Contemplation of Justice” that stands besides the steps of the Supreme Court, Speier said, “We’re tired of contemplating justice.”
“We want justice now.”