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Louisiana

Encourage-A-Legislator (EAL) Appreciation Day at the Louisiana State Capitol

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P1090160The EAL Appreciation Day at the Capitol was a great success. There were five EAL volunteers who met at the Capitol on May 18, 2016, representing our 50 wonderful volunteers from across the state.

Upon arrival we delivered 144 pecan pralines (one for each legislator) at the back of the Capitol building. We bring this gift yearly as a token of our appreciation for their hard work. We then met together in the Rotunda and were invited to the office of the Speaker of the House. House Speaker Taylor Barras (R-District 48) told us that many of the legislators value our prayers since their job is difficult and they needed wisdom from above. He said that the postcards were especially important since they have a Scripture passage and a note reminding them of those who are praying daily for them. Most of their correspondence from citizens is a request for something, but our postcards are an encouragement to them.

Our group enjoyed lunch together in the Capitol cafeteria renewing old acquaintances and meeting two volunteers who came for the first time. Afterwards we met for an hour in the chapel for a time of Scripture reading, prayer and singing. We were joined by two other ladies who also came to pray at the Capitol.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., we arrived at the House Chamber and were greeted by Rep. Nancy Landry (R-District 31) who was friendly and helpful and brought several of the legislators over to meet us. Rep. Landry then introduced us after the House convened, and we received a warm reception. Many more representative came over to thank us. Several of them had their postcards with them and told us how much the Scripture and notes meant to them. One representative said that receiving the postcards “means more than you may know”. Another representative was visibly moved when she thanked us for praying for her, then sat down and talked with us saying that we were doing the “real work”.

When the Senate convened at 3:00 p.m., our volunteers were introduced for the first time ever in the Senate Chamber by Sens. Page Cortez (R-District 23) and Wesley Bishop (D-District 4). We received a warm welcome.

Since the cards are so meaningful to the members of the Legislature, we will consider sending more cards next year.Many of the legislators understand that the Lord is their only source for help, wisdom and favor.

Thank you to all those who attended the event,  participated in the EAL program this year, and those who worked behind the scenes to make this an outstanding program.  A special thanks to Debbie Hoehl who has coordinated the EAL program with excellence for many years.

We were encouraged to see that we could be such a blessing to those in authority over us. Thanks be to God.

 

 

CWA of Louisiana Is Fighting for the Safety and Privacy of our Children! Join Us!

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The women of CWA of Louisiana are praying and taking action against the Obama administration’s executive letter on bathroom/locker room access.

On Friday May 13, the Obama administration announced that every public school system in the country will receive a letter (The U.S. Department of Justice and Education Release a Joint Guidance to Help Schools Ensure the Civil Rights of Transgender Students), mandating that transgender students be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity (as opposed to their birth certificate) or the school districts will lose Federal funds under Title IX.

President of the State Board of Education James Garvey (R-Metairie) blasted the Obama administration’s directive on the bathroom rights of transgender students Friday, May 13, calling it federal overreach. He then washed his hands of it, saying it’s up to local school boards to decide what to do.

In addition to Garvey’s statement, 32 Louisiana lawmakers sent a letter urging state Attorney General Jeff Landry to determine the constitutionality of separate executive orders issued by the U.S. president and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards pertaining to the apparent creation of a new protected class, “gender identity.”

Gov. Edwards and Education Superintendent John White weighed in by issuing statements from their spokesmen saying they were reviewing the guidance and that it seemed only to clarify existing law: Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on gender.

The people of Louisiana need to send a clear message to our state leaders that President Obama’s “guidance letter” is an overreach from the executive branch. The state of Louisiana has the right to set guidelines themselves without Federal overreach.  Louisiana schools should refuse the mandate that endangers our children.

Take Action Today!

1. Contact the following state leaders and tell them to stand up for the children of Louisiana and not to follow this outrageous directive that puts our children in danger.  Ask them to join officials from eight other states – West Virginia, Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Main and North Carolina – to begin to push back and sign on the brief asking a federal appeals court to re-hear a case in which it sided with a Virginia transgender student seeking to use the boys’ bathroom. Write, e-mail and/or call.

Gov. John Bel Edwards
P.O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004
Click here to e-mail.
Main line: 225-342-7015 or Toll Free: 866-366-1121

Attorney General Jeff Landry
P.O. Box 94005
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Click here to e-mail.
225-326-6079

President of Louisiana State School Board James Garvey
1201 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Click here to e-mail.
225-342-5840

State Superintendent of Schools John White
Louisiana Department of Education
P.O. Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9064
Click here to e-mail.  Address your comments to State Superintendent of Schools John White
877-453-2721 (toll-free)

2. Contact both your local school superintendent and school board members.  Show up at the next regularly scheduled school board meeting and speak in opposition to the Obama directive.

3. Please forward this e-alert to friends and family and ask them to both take action and pray about this important issue.

Please Pray: 

  • “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor oflove which you have shown toward His name.” (Hebrews 6:10a)
  • Pray for the leaders listed above by name. May they have the courage to do what’s right before God and on behalf of our children.
  • Pray that school boards throughout Louisiana will get in the fight for our children’s safety and privacy when they are on school campuses and that they will let Louisiana legislators know that they are not in favor of the mandate.
  • Pray that Louisiana students and parents will recognize the threat to both safety and privacy and speak out against this mandate.

“CWA of Louisiana is committed to speak truth to power; speak the truth in love; speak life.”

The CWA of Louisiana Mandate

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THE MANDATE …

As the state director for Concerned Women for America of Louisiana, I am humbled and count it a privilege to serve the people of the Pelican State.

My mandate to serve the people of Louisiana has a dual/twin purpose, that is, to teach Kingdom to government and teach government to Kingdom.  One “twin” reminds the Kingdom that the purpose of government is to protect its citizens and punish evil – Romans 13:3-4; while the other “twin” commands us to pray for those in authority – 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Teaching Kingdom to government involves educating believers about our core values and how to effectively communicate these values to our elected officials, thereby dismantling (first through prayer, then action) the lies and deception masquerading as truth through some of our city ordinances and/or state and national legislation.

Likewise, teaching government to Kingdom educates and equips the believer on public policy, key “hot-button” issues and the protocols needed to effectually influence all levels of government and public policy.  This equipping helps us to understand the rules of engagement, i.e. the political process by which we see the changes we support or those we oppose.

THE METHOD …

Speak the truth in love (motivated by love).  Remember to act on the truth you know … for faith without works is DEAD! – James 2:14-17

“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”  I Corinthians 2:4

To effectively help lead Louisiana to higher moral ground, we must be willing to first pray then act.  Sitting on the sidelines and cursing the darkness is futile.  Light a candle.  Better yet, be that candle!  It’s time for the REAL believers to suit up and show up.

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS …

As believers in Jesus Christ we have authority to SPEAK life and SPEAK the TRUTH in love.  Our goal is to love one another in TRUTH and in DEED.  When we do this, lives are changed and righteousness is further established in the nation.

As citizens we have a responsibility to hold our elected officials accountable, and if they do not represent us well, we elect others who will.

Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” This is God’s requirement for all those who serve Him, both those who are called to help fulfill this mandate through CWA of Louisiana and those who serve in government office. CWA of Louisiana has been assigned to remind men and women of this truth.

 

Remain motivated by love,

 

Sancha N. Smith

State Director

CWA of Louisiana

director@louisiana.cwfa.org

la.cwfa.org

Further Defunding of Planned Parenthood in Louisiana

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Great News!  Yesterday House Bill 606 passed out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.  HB 606 effectively removes Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and any other abortion provider in Louisiana.

HB 606 is expected to be voted on by the Senate very soon. Your legislators need to hear from you now!

HB 606, by Rep. Frank Hoffmann (R-West Monroe), seeks to bar Louisiana from reimbursing Medicaid funding to any organization that performs abortions. The House voted 85-7 for the measure. Click here to read the bill, review its status and more.

Hoffmann’s bill follows a similar attempt to deny Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood by former Gov. Bobby Jindal. That effort was ruled unlawful by a federal district court judge and is currently the subject of an appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Now, the state legislature is moving HB 606 forward to yank the abortion company’s taxpayer funding.

Even though Medicaid dollars can’t technically pay for abortions, Hoffmann’s bill stops tax dollars from going to clinics that offer abortions.

Current Gov. John Bel Edwards supports HB 606, and his chief of staff Ben Nevers testified in support of the legislation before the senate committee.

Your Prayers are Needed!  Pray that HB 606 will pass in the Senate and that Louisiana will continue to seek and find effective strategies to ensure that abortion in Louisiana is completely eradicated.

Take Action!

  • Contact your Senator and ask him/her to support HB 606.  Click here to find out who your Senator is and how to contact him/her.
  • Pass the information on to friends and family and encourage them to call their senator concerning this important life-saving bill.

“I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” – Ronald Reagan

Find out more about CWA of Louisiana by going to our website regularly. We also encourage you to donate so that we can continue the fight for the establishment of godly rule in the great state of Louisiana.

Stand with CWA of Louisiana Prayerfully, Legislatively and Financially

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Dear Concerned Women for America of Louisiana members and friends,

I pray this letter finds you hopeful, praising and trusting God and His Holy Word in the midst of spiritual, moral, economic, and political storms.  Clearly, the battle between Biblical and secular worldviews is intensifying.   Liberalism, progressivism, false religions and those who are coming against Christians and their beliefs seem intent on destroying the Judeo-Christian traditions upon which our nation was built, whether in the spiritual, moral or public policy realm.  Nevertheless, Concerned Women for America continues to stand in the gap in the cultural war to promote and protect Biblical values amongst all citizens.  We value your involvement through prayer and financial support.  In order to be effective in our state, we need three important things:

  • Prayers
  • Volunteers
  • Financial Support.

An upcoming financial need we have is funds to send two of our Louisiana leaders to Leadership Training this year, June 9-11, in Washington, D.C.  CWA is partnering with Faith and Freedom Coalition for three days of exciting activities including inspiring speakers, leadership training and lobbying Louisiana legislators on Capitol Hill.  My goal is to have at least two of our state volunteer leaders at that conference.  I estimate the cost at about $1375/person.  I am appealing to you to help achieve that goal. If you are able, please consider sending a tax-deductible gift at this time.  Any amount will help reach our goal.  If you are not able to help financially right now, please pray for this goal and CWA of Louisiana as well.

The annual Leadership Training Conference is a great event for better equipping our CWA of Louisiana leaders; thank you for any amount of support you can give to help our volunteer leaders attend.  Please send your gift to the post office box below or go online at la.cwfa.org and click on the “Donate to Your State” button under my picture.  Your gift will be credited to CWA of Louisiana.  Please add a note saying that your gift is for conference expenses.

If you would like to join us at the conference, go to roadtomajority.com.  Be sure to use the promo code: CWA.  Go to the bottom of the registration form and put in “CWA for the promotional code and then click “apply”. This will pull up a registration form. Then, you can choose which tickets you want. Be sure to scroll down and choose the ticket with CWA in front of it.  It is very important that CWA friends and members register using the promotional code.

We appreciate your partnership with CWA of Louisiana and ask that you continue to pray for the organization and for our leaders in particular to be able to stand strong to promote and protect the Biblical values we hold so dear.

LEGISLATIVE NEWS: We want to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. One of our purposes is to keep YOU informed on CWA events and laws being considered in our state legislature that affect families.

Women’s Enhanced Reflection Act – HB 386 by Rep. Hoffmann

  • Click here to read the bill, review its status and more. Click here to view my testimony before the House Health and Welfare Committee.
  • This bill would increase the current time for reflection between a pre-abortion counseling and the actual abortion procedure from 24 hours to 72 hours. This will allow women a chance for further reflection of all her options, by relieving some of the immediacy of the crisis.
  • Progress: Passed the House floor 89-5 on April 6. Passed the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. Vote on the floor pending.

Defunding Planned Parenthood – HB 606 by Rep. Hoffmann and SB 264 by Rep. Mills

  • Click here to read the bill, review its status and more.
  • This bill follows Gov. Kasich’s approach to defunding Planned Parenthood in Ohio by prohibiting entities that perform abortions, or contract with those who perform abortions, from receiving public funding for any purpose.
  • Progress:  HB 606 scheduled to be read on Senate floor early May.

I ask that you stand with CWA regarding these two issues by contacting your senator as soon as possible.  Click here to find out his/her name and contact information.  Ask him/her to support these two pieces of legislation.

We must honor and protect our faith and morality to ensure freedom, and I promise you that is what CWA will continue to do in 2016 in the state of Louisiana and for our nation!

Remain motivated by love,

Sancha Noel Smith

State Director

Supreme Court Keeps Louisiana Abortion Clinics Open, denying Louisiana’s Efforts to Close Them

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Earlier this month on March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court Justices reversed an order by the Federal Appeals Court in New Orleans that allowed Louisiana to begin enforcing its 2014 clinic regulation law as it is being challenged in the courts.

The law being challenged is HB 388, Unsafe Abortion Protection Act which increases requirements of physicians who perform abortions.  It became Act 620 of the 2014 Legislative Session on June 12 when Gov. Bobby Jindal signed it into law. The law was set to go into effect on September 1, 2014. Since that time it has been fought in court and has now been blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2014 a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the majority of the Texas law, concluding the law “does not place a substantial obstacle in path of those women seeking an abortion”.  But opponents appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing it does represent an undue burden because half of the 40 clinics that were open in Texas before their 2013 law was passed closed as a result of a law similar to Louisiana’s law.

The 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans is currently withholding further action regarding HB388, awaiting the decision on the Texas case, which would set a precedent for other states. A decision is expected in June. Our hope is that the Supreme Court will uphold the Texas law, opening the door for HB388 to be fully implemented in Louisiana.

If implemented, HB 388 will do several things:

  • It will require abortion providers have admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility.
  • It will clarify that informed consent protections apply to surgical abortion as well as to RU-486 chemical abortion. Physicians in both private offices as well as in licensed outpatient abortion facilities would have to provide women the same informed consent protections and 24-hour reflection period, whether the abortion is surgical or chemical.
  • It will require doctors who perform more than five abortions a year to maintain proper licensing. Current Louisiana law allows physicians to perform 60 abortions a year before being subject to the health and safety inspections that are required of “licensed outpatient abortion facilities.”

Your Prayers are Needed! Pray that the Supreme Court will uphold the Texas law and allow full implementation of the requirements of their bill which provides that doctors to have hospital admitting privileges in order to perform abortions in clinics, thereby setting a precedent to reverse any action against the Louisiana clinics. Please pray regularly for this until June.

“The shame and the downfall of a modern materialistic society is her inability to treasure, care for, admire, adore, cherish, value, revere, respect, uphold, uplift, protect, shield, defend, safeguard, treasure and love her children.” – C. JoyBell C.