US & Canada

Phyllis Schlafly, leading US conservative, dies at 92

Women opposed to Equal Rights Amendment sit with Phyllis Schlafly, left, in Kansas City on 10 August 1972 Image copyright AP
Image caption Phyllis Schlafly, front left, fought tirelessly against the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s

Phyllis Schlafly, a leading figure in the US conservative movement, has died at her home in Missouri, aged 92.

Mrs Schlafly was an outspoken opponent of feminism and abortion and helped Republicans block the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s.

She campaigned against Communism and is credited with creating the political climate that helped Ronald Reagan become president.

Mrs Schlafly publicly endorsed Donald Trump at a rally in March.

Paying tribute to her on Monday, the Republican presidential candidate described Mrs Schlafly as "a patriot, a champion for women and a symbol of strength".

Image copyright AP
Image caption Phyllis Schlafly praised Donald Trump's policies on immigration

Mrs Schlafly's death, in St Louis, was announced by the Eagle Forum, a conservative group she founded in 1972.

It described her as an "iconic American leader whose love for America was surpassed only by her love of God and her family".

Mrs Schlafly was a strong advocate of traditional family values and one of her crowning political victories was helping to stop the Equal Rights Amendment [ERA] from being added to the US Constitution.

She once described feminists as "a bunch of bitter women seeking a constitutional cure for their personal problems".

Donald T Critchlow, author of a biography of Phyllis Schlafly, said that defeating the ERA helped to usher in a new conservative era in US politics, paving the way for Ronald Reagan's election in 1980.

The Eagle Forum said Mrs Schlafly was survived by her six children, 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Phyllis Schlafly attended the Republican National Convention, in Cleveland, in July

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