The ERA states that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” Suffragist leader Alice Paul, founder of the National Woman’s Party, wrote the ERA in 1923. The ERA was introduced to Congress every year from 1923 to 1972, when it was finally passed as the proposed 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It then needed to receive ratification from 38 states. In 1979, Congress extended the ERA’s seven-year time limit for ratification for another three years, but by the amendment’s 1982 deadline, only 35 states had ratified it-three states short of the requirement. The ERA has been reintroduced into every session of Congress since 1982.