ABC News Live Update: Prince Philip admitted to hospital

Plus, thirty-seven states are on alert as a new storm moves in, and FEMA plans to open seven mass vaccinations sites by next week.
22:19 | 02/17/21

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Transcript for ABC News Live Update: Prince Philip admitted to hospital
Good morning I'm devastated thanks for streaming with us in today's update we have breaking news this morning that duke of Edinburgh has been admitted to a London hospital. Prince Phillips doctor advised him to check in last night as a precautionary measure was 99 year old said he wasn't feeling well. He's expected to stay there for a few days Buckingham Palace says this is not related to cope in nineteen we will keep you updated on his condition. At least 37 states from Texas to New York are on alert as new snow moves it. The hard hit south is now bracing for more heavy snow dangerous ice and possible tornadoes. Millions of Americans are still without power from the last storm struggling to keep warm in the freezing cold. Parts of Texas which is seen involved the power outages have hit record low temperatures not seen in this century at least twenty people have died. And the weather's also complicating the Coleman vaccines roll out at least 22 states are canceling or delaying vaccinations. And FEMA is planning to open a total of seven mass vaccination sites by next week. Nearly 12% of the population has gotten at least one dose of the vaccine so far. But there are new concerns over condition linked to coated and kids cases are rare inflammatory syndrome found in children after they've had the virus are on the rise. It can cause inflammation in the heart and lungs brains and other vital organs more than 2000 cases have been reported since may and thirty kids have died. Doctors still stressed though that the syndrome just ramp. And it's only happened 27 times in our nation's history but we could soon see a new constitutional amendment. It aims to grant equal rights for women under the constitution and was passed by congress fifty years ago. Now we finally have enough states on board to ratify the amendment but is it too late. Nearly fifty years after congress passed the equal rights amendment. Yeah. There's still no mention of women in the US constitution. It is launching his mind to impress the men inside this building and yes I do I have some. Now was that time. For decades the ERA he has been stuck in a political purgatory just three states short of the 38 ramifications needed to make it official. Deadlines have come and gone women have kept marching. The language of the amendment is straightforward but far reaching. Steve 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. Advocates say those words are primed to finally become law at a critical time you know Rihanna fiftieth leader writing the seen battle over again. I want to stop that professor deeper Kumar says despite years of progress gender discrimination is still very real. It was started upgraded mega salary and at the problem though is that and a salary level did not keep. She was hired in 2000 four's a professor at Rutgers University the same school where in 1969. A young law professor Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Won a settlement over unequal pay for female faculty. Kumar and four other women professors sued the school again last year. I mean I've felt like I'm being treated. As second class citizen it was thoughtful. It was humiliating. If I could be treated this way about people who don't have jobs. You're rockers would not comment on Kumar skis but tells ABC news its creed in a new pay equity program. It is committed to resolving outstanding pay equity requests as quickly and responsibly as possible. On average women in the US earned just 82 cents for every dollar earned by men the gap even wider for women of color. Experts say the pandemic is threatening to make that he inequality. Even worse. You look at what's happening as women across the the work horse in this country right now because of Kobe at a women's am you know an inequality has exacerbated action you know you look at the job loss or women need it is you know it is palpable feeling. More than 2.3 million women have left the workforce since the pandemic began including another 275000. Just last month. January marked the lowest labor force participation rate for women in more than thirty years. I was actually in the middle of feeding my daughter was bill cannot. California assemblywoman Buffy wicks became a symbol of the crisis last fall when she was forced to take her infant daughter did the state house floor in order to do. Do her job at what. She urged here is women of the workforce because of the pandemic. And their male counterparts are moving up in a letter works and they're moving down and then there actor reenter the workforce. Noting that our. Equity will increase Albert what do you think the fix is if we enshrined ERA to the Jewish and guarantees. Equity inequalities are Sherwin cross country. Advocates argue the amendment would give a constitutional. Basis for women to fight back against pain equality. It's very important you know that you actually have a law that allows women to challenge the injustice and the discrimination that they're facing. So that's you know it's equal pay for equal work for all congress voted in 1972 with overwhelming bipartisan majorities to approve the ERA. 35 states quickly voted to ratify the amendment. But it wasn't until last year that Virginia became the final state required of a three fourths majority to make it official. There was just one problem congress in its infinite wisdom decided to put a deadline on passing it. Very paternalistic. That deadline was in 1982. The ERA feeling to hit the mark after conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly let a movement of women in opposition. With the Democrats in control of Washington and a record number of women in congress the movement sees a new opening. Congresswoman Jackie speer of California the more than 200 lawmakers from both parties have sponsored a bill to remove the deadline for theory ratification. And allow it to become law. We do you have momentum. In a way that's we haven't had probably come for decades. There is no deadline. On equality. And it's about time we recognize that. The Biden administration's is enacting the ERA is a centerpiece of its agenda for women but major legal hurdle still remained. A US Justice Department analysis last year concluded that congress may not revive a proposed amendment after the deadline has expired. Even justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg conceded before her death that the process would need to start over. BE RE film free speech. I'm ratification. I hope someday he will be put back. And political hopper. Starting over again. Many ERA advocates argue that legal analysis is flawed there are many constitutional scholars that argued that it's unconstitutional. To put a deadline in a constitutional amendment. Hong numerous amendment. Her husband and discrimination. It's around cake. It's around pregnancy. And it's around violence against women. So those are the areas that will be impacted. Is your sense. To remove the legal challenges. Women have been grameen will continue to burn. He says be easier. In effect. If this was in the constitution absolutely. Apps no question about it. A push to root out discrimination backed by the power of the constitution. Do you think this is in the moment it's gonna happen. I think it's a moment it's gonna happen it's millions of American women say that time has come to gated John. And Devin Dwyer joins us now with more on this DeVon the equal rights amendment has still not been ratified so who is opposed to it and why. But then you're not gonna find anybody come out and say they're opposed to equal rights for women these days but there are two camps really opposed to this amendment or that. The social conservatives those who fear that. Supporting this measure in place would strip away. Some of our our gender designations in society safer bathrooms locker rooms women's sports lease men's sports leagues in the light. I'm they're also concerned that it could embolden. Antiabortion activists suburban area rather wrote pro gore shouldn't as supporters to lift all restrictions. On abortion in this country and there's also worry particularly. Among the so called father's rights movement. That this could this could challenge. Is some of those preferential laws that protect women in specific states things over child custody in alimony that those state laws that exist on the books supporting women. I could go away so there are a lot of arguments a lot of fear mongering if you listen to advocates of the ERE that's out there. On on the social issues and then there's the constitutional questions we got into some of those in the peace. You know those deadlines were missed. Eight you know back in 1982. It it's really unclear as to whether some of those state ramifications are still valid. And then there are five states Diane that it over the past few years back she tried to rescind. Their ratification so really. A lot of confusion over what the numbers actually mean whether that's actually going who gets to decide. Whether this becomes law but the movement as you see there is full steam ahead and they have the support right now of the White House and democratic leadership in congress. And bopping through that process and they states trying to. We see in the ratification one why are they doing that and to what does that mean for the prospects of this moving forward. Yeah well it's it's politics at place several of these states many of them happened in the nineteen sleep 1970s and eighties they voted to rescind it. On it's only happened a couple times in our history. It's 47 amendments that we haven't back in the 1860s. To states tried to rescind their ratification of the fourteenth amendment to the constitution. I'll spare you the details but that was our rejected they say they can't Rick ray can't rescind that. Is it but it's it's an untested legal theory much in the same way that this impeachment process we just went through the former president was sort of uncharted waters. How were in the same thing with this amendment and so what is likely to happen if you listen to supporters is that they want this to get on the books they want to move forward. Perhaps there could be court challenges down the line if the 28 amendment. Is invoked in a legal case but as of right now they believe they have the 38 states required to make it official. And inner peace DeVon you talk about the wage gap between men and women what person other issues advocates are hoping. This amendment will help them fight. Get it there's actually an interest in sub movement Diane behind the RA campaign. It did described itself as advocates for menstrual equality in this country. Taking an opposition to this so called him pond tax. That exists in the United States if you haven't heard of it. Well you're not alone I had heard of it until reporting this piece and that is the point these advocates say it's not a specific tax on tampons but it's the fact that. Feminine hygiene products are actually not exempt from sales tax and 33 of the fifty states. Meanwhile things like sun screen chapstick Viagra for men shampoo those sorts of things are considered necessities and exempt from sales tax. Why he is it that these hygiene products which are critical for so many women are being taxed well. Gas President Obama who is one of the supporters of this of this movement he said it's because men wrote the tax laws in these countries. What does this have to do with the ERA what advocates we'll tell you dad. Enacting a new amendment of the constitution wouldn't get rid of the camp on tax per say. But it would help set a national standard that could in the in the very near future future. See some of these in equal tax laws revised. So Viagra is a necessity tampons are not that's an interesting line DeVon diet thank you. Thanks them. And proponents of the RA have been working for decades now to get it ratified one of those advocates the president of the ERA palatial coalition Carol Jenkins. Joins me now Carroll welcome and thanks for being here we just heard from DeVon some of the major legal hurdles still ahead. For the ERA why do you think now is the right time to take them on. Well I think we've been working on the spur. Hundred years and the question that we continue to ask your coalition. Is what is it about America that does not want an amendment that says you cannot discriminate based on sex. It's an extraordinary. Hour each. I'll learn. All trying to get some good for women. And now we have this century long life in America controller culminating based on on sex and that was not included. In our United States senate constitution. Which it. We're looking for the rich are. A sexism and racism in our country we have to look straight. Constitution. That's where it lies Stetson brand and it. The constitution was written by slave holding a man who refused even put women are in the constitution. What else and then I'll enter the white. May oh urging. So we tell us citizens are beginning our society. At least it still have in equities we can't equities and Koresh and totaled one talked about and I haven't done a great piece but we also have to look at things like. Poverty. Muster the power of this country. Are women trying to change their children and how their children even a partner in a relationship. A program where they aren't you breadwinners. The fact is they don't. Still make McNamara makes is detrimental to life in this in this country so the good news short matter is. We have met our car from passing an amendment the only thing stipulated in article five in the constitution. Is passage by congress that happened in nineteen agent. And ratification by thirty H agent took so why that happened. Last year on January 27. I'm 21 Asia we are actually in them is stone McCullough shaking. On January 20 Evans and twenty when it hit it Harry becomes a reality an. Course region and that problematic Shea a good time limit that we arsenal should. An illegal. But we're in congress. Or in court. That we now have a wonderfully supportive administration that has stipulated prone in its campaign. At all of what's the agenda items down that it expects to put to equal rights amendment in place so we think that this is the year 20/20 one senior where you resolve this customers. Now given this deadline from congress that this had to have been passed by acting it was 1982. Could this mean that you have to start from scratch. Oh we don't think so and I we drew Bader Ginsburg. Yet what are our heroes apartment that always have. An extraordinary support and person for the equal rights amendment she said she. If she can see any amendment passed issue would want to be the equal rights amendment and she suggestion that we need to start a church again at what we aviary coalition is sure. Cat and it would. Take us another hundred years before we get something as simple she cannot pay based on next in the cup Egyptian can you imagine should we put. Congress the way it is now senator who fracture. Getting is urged an agreement on anything much less equality Whitman and then sending it out to this stage and getting 38 states on shore. As coalition week that worked on that Carolyn Maloney. Share only our commission for years introduce. Our. A bill that we support. That would actively start over because the language. Is change we could do that. But we are trying to honor the upper. All. Night 2038. After she edges of voting right. Each that there was one more thing that was missing from our society. And Jewish all right guys and you look at the at that good is that we have should we drop everything and money energy high in all types of ideas. On how you know. Create an equal playing she'll. In this country we have not exceed rebate programs or shore. Are. We've got to amend the current situation is mandatory at times news or you know when people were discovered that we need this we need. And now this fight over saying that you cannot discriminate based I can't checks. Tell me. It is already taken a hundred years or should start over into another hundred years so our great great grand daughters. My usual this kind of equality and went. When we know of some public we've done our research arm polls indicate 90%. Of Americans say of course we mention the same rights. You know there should be no discrimination based on sex. This small group. Just like whores and managed just. Keep it at bay. For these many years. It is about she didn't change. That we haven't and it. We haven't administration. We have a new Department of Justice. And we believe this is that you care where. We can. We actually make this happen. Thank you are one or address some of the criticisms because he and we heard DeVon. Talk about some fears that this could backfire in a way that the ERA could may be caused. The repeal of laws that favor women and certain aspects like child custody cat cases. And then there's the other Camden just as you know we don't need this the fourteenth amendment already protects women's and so do many other laws on the books so why don't we need this amendment. Are we did because there is no. Basic costs fundamental constitutional. Statement about your quality of the sexes some. And I might add them this also includes beach each year. Based on the recent Supreme Court decision we're talking about. Sex all the language of the amendment out about sex and doesn't say let's put women in the constitution that says discrimination based on shacks are would be. Thing that would require some recourse. Or punishment. I don't think I would look around. The you know the explanation that we already have laws on the books and secure this all I wanna know well. Why it was still in the same situation Ben and for many years where there is a roaring and didn't pay equity or rampant pregnancy discrimination. Or and that violence against women with out proper recourse children and what. You know what's holding that up and as far as we're concerned it is a thinner is no fundamental constitutional. Rights provisions. Four at their should be. And recall words. Punishment for violating the rights based on on on scheck's I don't. I think a lot of things that we talk about could be it could be should be nixed by the eerie because. It was Rick. Survivors are. Number one there should be no discrimination based on number two there should be a two year waiting period before it goes into effect. We are gloriously and recent will be out. Next year the heart is usually ability to create the laws that we need to know put. All rights into. And they're more people are already. Looking at the laws as a launching. Kris H that would actually be the underpinning. Equality and the sexes. In the United States of America show it's more than just that one. I mean we're at where the ancient it's a very simple amendment but it also has power and it gives them power you know I mean I love this idea of she hungry children. You know creating a lot. That could act as his proposed. In the congress or children or starting him so. And that's one out of three. Children in America. And they don't have enough says let's check screen the that she sure children women and the men and because it's not just women that about a rich you know its menace well. Carol Jenkins president of the earache coalition thanks for your time this morning. Thank you so much and thanks Kevin for the great report and we will overlay. And that does good for this ABC news live update I'm Diana Zeta thanks for joining us to remember ABC news live is here for you all day with the latest news context and analysis. -- back at 3 PM eastern with Terry Moran's for the breakdown.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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