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Letter: Phyllis Schlafly to Sam Ervin, Sep 15, 1975

Letter: Phyllis Schlafly to Sam Ervin, Sep 15, 1975
Letter: Phyllis Schlafly to Sam Ervin, Sep 15, 1975

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Letter: Phyllis Schlafly to Sam Ervin, Sep 15, 1975


Sam J. Ervin Papers, Subgroup B: Private Papers #3847B, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library, UNC-CH


In the public domain and can be used without copyright restriction.


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Stop Equal Rights Amendment

National Chairman:
Phyllis Schlafly
Box 618
Alton, Illinois 62002

September 15, 1975

Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr.
Morganton, North Carolina 28655

Dear Senator Ervin:

On October 10-12 in St. Louis, we will have our third annual meeting of the Stop ERA state chairmen and their key workers. This is the wonderful group of women who have provided the leadership for the battle we have waged to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. You know what odds we have been fighting — 95 percent of the press, most of the VIPs who care to commit themselves (including the President and his wife, nearly all Governors and their wives, etc.), a tremendous amount of federal and state tax monies, plus foundation and private money, the momentum of ratification in a majority of states, and the psychology of the “inevitability” of final victory.

We had a great year — we persuaded 16 states to reject ERA, while only North Dakota ratified. And we beat down an attempt to re-ratify in Nebraska, where the original ratification had been rescinded. Now, as you know, we face an even greater battle in 1976, in which the pro-ERA forces already have hundreds of thousands of federal dollars (through the International Women’s Year Commission operating out of the State Department), and the services of the top political PR firm in the country (Bailey, Deardourff & Eyre).

All our leaders are well aware of the gallant battle you waged in the U.S. Senate, and we know that all the arguments we have used in our campaign were originally developed and presented by you. You have our undying gratitude for blazing the trail.

We would appreciate it very much if you would send us a message that I can read at our banquet on October 10. A personal message from you would mean a great…

Deal to these women — a message that reminds them that they are on the side of the angels, that we CAN hold the 16 state in the NO column, and that we CAN persuade other states to rescind (and that such recission is legal), and that you have faith in our ultimate victory. Such a message would give encouragement and inspiration to these women who are growing weary with the battle and dismayed by the ugliness of the bitter women’s libbers who are determined to cram their views down our throats.

While I am writing, I have a second request. I would appreciated very much having a letter from you giving your views on the effect the ERA would have on abortion. I am quite convinced that the pro-ERAers are 99 percent pro-abortionists, and that they are convinced that ERA will give them the “constitutional” right of abortion. Statements of Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan, among others, as well as the analyses of the prominent anti-abortion lawyers, have convinced me that this will be their argument (and that the Supreme Court will probably agree with them, since the Supreme Court does all sorts of things we don’t expect or want). It would be very helpful if you would write me of your views on the assistance that ERA will give to the abortionists.

However, please put this in a separate letter.

Thank you again for all you have done for our country. I hope some time to have the pleasure of meeting you.

With best wishes,

Phyllis Schlafly