Alyssa Milano gets personal in fiery testimony about gender and politics

Milano wants her daughter "to grow up knowing she has the same rights."

Actress and activist Alyssa Milano advocated for equal rights for all sexes in testimony on Capitol Hill Thursday morning at a hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment held by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

"Since the earliest days of our nation, women have been fighting, not waiting, but fighting for inclusion in our founding document. ... We have pleaded for centuries, [for] a simple and powerful thing: equality under the law," Milano said.

"I want my daughter Bella to grow up knowing she has the same rights as every man in this country, and I want my son Milo and every boy in America to know that too," she added. "They deserve a government that cannot treat them differently because of gender."

Milano also said that passing the ERA is necessary for America's sake.

"The lack of constitutional protections for anyone who is not a cisgender man is a blemish on the very idea of Americanism. As long as the Constitution allows gender-based discrimination, the United States can never achieve the greatness to which it aspires," Milano said.

She later spoke about difficult moments in her own past that inspired her activism for the ERA.

"I have been sexually abused. I would like the same constitutional equality as my abuser," Milano said in response to questioning from Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C.

Milano, known for her starring roles in "Who's the Boss," "Charmed" and "Melrose Place," has previously been involved in activism surrounding women's rights, voting and the #MeToo movement.

The ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that would enshrine equal rights for all sexes. It first passed in 1972, but to become official, it needed 38 states to ratify it.

The original deadline for all of the states to ratify the amendment was in 1982, but the 38th state to ratify the amendment, Virginia, only did so last year, leaving the legal status of the amendment unclear.

"The framers failed us when they did not include women in the Constitution," Milano said at the hearing. "Congress failed us when it added the deadline for ratification of the ERA. You, the members of this committee, have the opportunity and the obligation to fix the Constitution and stop it from failing us. Will you take it?"

Earlier on Thursday, Milano joined Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other top Democratic lawmakers for a press conference in support of the ERA.

"I just want to say that in 2021, I still don't have equality under the Constitution. ... I think it is time for the Constitution to reflect the first three words, 'We the people,' not 'We, the men,'" Milano said at the press conference.

Milano also took part in a voting rights protest in Washington outside of the White House on Tuesday, where she and more than 20 others were arrested after ignoring three warnings from police to move.

"I've never been arrested; today is my first time, and I felt like this was a really worthy issue to be arrested for," Milano told ABC News in an interview at the protest. "They are systematically stripping away people's rights to vote, and we sent Joe Biden to the White House to fulfill a promise of voting rights, and the time to act is now."

When she was arrested, Milano and others raised their fists and walked with officers away from the square peacefully.

The protest came before a test vote on Wednesday in the Senate on voting legislation, which was blocked by Republicans.

ABC News' Becky Perlow contributed to this report.