Her death was confirmed by her son John, who said she died of cancer at her home in St. Louis.
According to The Associated Press, Schlafly’s self-published book, A Choice Not an Echo, brought her into the national spotlight in 1964. The news service reports the book, which sold 3 million copies, became a manifesto for many conservatives and boosted Sen. Barry Goldwater’s bid for the 1964 GOP presidential nomination.
Yet Schlafly’s legacy is perhaps most tied to her outspoken criticism of the Equal Rights Amendment, a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would have explicitly prohibited gender discrimination. It was passed by Congress in 1972 but defeated in the years to come, when it failed to be ratified by enough states — partly because of Schlafly’s fierce opposition.
“Since the women are the ones who bear the babies and there’s nothing we can do about that, our laws and customs then make it the financial obligation of the husband to provide the support,” she said in 1973. “It is his obligation and his sole obligation. And this is exactly and precisely what we will lose if the Equal Rights Amendment is passed.”
When Schlafly spoke to NPR’s Michel Martin in 2014, she explained her motivations for opposing the amendment.
“When I went to the hearings for the Equal Rights Amendment and I heard what they were saying, and they had absolutely no benefit to offer women, but we could see a lot of disadvantages in it,” Schlafly told Martin. She added:
When the amendment failed to get the 38 states it needed — it fell short by three states — many people gave Schlafly credit for its demise.
According to Gloria Ross of St. Louis Public Radio, Schlafly “led a movement that for decades successfully thwarted …