COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio lawmakers are pushing for a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution to ensure equal rights for all U.S. citizens, regardless of sex.

State Representative Monique Smith (D-Fairview Park) introduced an Ohio resolution urging the certification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Smith said now that a month has passed since Roe v. Wade was overturned, this is more important than ever.

“We know that women’s personal freedoms and that equality for women is under attack,” Smith said. “Women are half of the population; women are key to driving our economic strength in this country.”

Jen Miller, director of Ohio’s League of Women’s Voters, explained that the Equal Rights Amendment is straightforward.

“It’s a really simple amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would prohibit any state or federal government from discriminating against citizens based on sex,” Miller said.

The amendment was first introduced in the 1920s, then passed by Congress in the 1970s. Back then, the amendment did not have the necessary three-fourths of states – 38 out of 50 — supporting it.

However, since then, 38 of 50 states have ratified the amendment, with Virginia being the last in 2020. Nevada voted to ratify it in 2017 and Illinois in 2018 – the other states that ratified the amendment did so in the early 1970s.

The reason why the amendment hasn’t been added to the Constitution, despite reaching the required number of states, is because Congress set a 1979 deadline, which was later extended to 1982.

“Our states do believe that women’s rights should be enshrined in the constitution,” Smith said.

“Here we are, still today, not protecting the rights of women on equal footing as men when we are 50 percent of the population,” Miller said.

Miller said if the amendment is ratified, it could drastically help families.

“In terms of truly serving our community, in terms of really seeing equal pay, equal access to government services,” Miller said.

Smith said it is a long shot to have this resolution pass in Ohio, even though the state did ratify the amendment in the 1970s.

The Ohio Republican House Caucus has not returned a request for comment.