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Ashley Judah

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FY 2022 Appropriations Update: Standing Strong for Life in the House

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

As Congress drafts appropriations bills for the new fiscal year, pro-life advocates are fighting to preserve longstanding prohibitions on the use of taxpayer dollars for abortions, both at home and abroad. Despite pleas for reason from their colleagues and the American people, the Democrat Majority is unyielding in its quest to bankroll the destruction of innocent human life.

The House Appropriations Committee recently passed the FY 2022 State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) and FY 2022 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bills on party line votes. The SFOPS bill removes the Helms Amendment, a prohibition on taxpayer funding of abortions overseas, and weakens the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, a provision allowing the President to discontinue funds to organizations that support or manage coercive abortion programs. The legislation also permanently repeals the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy (a.k.a. Mexico City Policy), which requires foreign NGOs to agree, as a condition of receiving U.S. dollars, not to promote or perform abortions. Furthermore, the bill drastically increases funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a known supporter of China’s forced abortion and sterilization regime, and for international family planning, a slush fund for Planned Parenthood and related organizations.

During committee markups, Reps. Kay Granger (R-Texas), Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), and Dr. Andy Harris (R-Maryland) offered amendments to restore these safeguards and remove funding for unchecked, pro-abortion programming. Unfortunately, all attempts were defeated. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) was the only Democrat member to vote in support of Helms, Kemp-Kasten, and the Mexico City Policy.

The FSGG bill removes the Smith Amendment, a prohibition on funding for abortions through the Federal Health Benefits (FEHB) program, and the Dornan Amendment, a ban on the use of local and federal funds for abortion services in Washington, D.C., Once again, Rep. Hinson offered amendments to reinstate these provisions, but both items were defeated. Rep. Cuellar voted with Republicans to protect Smith.

This week, the Committee marked up FY 2022 funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education. This appropriations bill is the legislative vehicle for the Hyde Amendment, a longstanding prohibition on federal funding of elective abortion through Medicaid, Medicare disability, and other programming. Lawmakers have agreed to its inclusion in the federal budget for the last four decades, yet Democrats have stripped the life-saving language from this year’s bill. The Weldon Amendment, a prohibition on government discrimination against healthcare entities that refuse to cover or pay for abortions, has also been removed. This is unacceptable.

Members will have another chance to stand for life as these bills move to full consideration on the House floor and on to the Senate. Please visit our Action Center today and tell your U.S. Representative and Senators to hold the line on Hyde and related protections.

We applaud those who have already risen to challenge this affront to the sanctity of human life. On July 1, 2021, the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus and the Republican Study Committee joined forces on a letter to President Biden opposing his FY 2022 budget request and the blatant disregard for American taxpayers’ conscience rights. That same day, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) led a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra requesting follow-up on his refusal to acknowledge the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act as federal law. His troubling testimony only underscores the gravity of this fight.

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee will continue to serve as a voice for the precious unborn as well as millions of Americans who object to their tax dollars financing abortion on demand. Stay tuned for additional updates on FY 2022 Appropriations and our fight to hold the line on Hyde.

Mind Your Business? Congress Pushes Disclosure of Sex Preferences of Nation’s Business Owners

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

The Left’s drive to impose government mandates that classify people by their sexual behavior and gender preferences was fully on display in Congress recently, drawing even some self-described conservative members in its wake.

On June 24, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1443, the LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act. The legislation would require financial institutions to report credit application data to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau detailing the sexual orientation or gender identity of business owners. Concerned Women for American Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) scored votes against the measure, as it lacks any non-ideological justification for enactment and only furthers the Democrats’ goal of imposing the deceptive Equality Act objectives through the back door.

At the surface, H.R. 1443 is government overreach. Regardless of intended use, a federal database collecting such intimate, unverifiable information is intrusive and beyond the reasonable scope of government authority. Sexual preferences are irrelevant to business lending and should neither hinder nor help one’s credit prospects. Once the precedent for this reporting mandate is set, the case can be made for all federal programming to consider the LGBTQ-status of applicants and recipients. Should we expect these questions on the next census?

The long-term ramifications are limitless. This policy provides the foundation for a new, federally recognized class of LGBTQ business owners who would be eligible for procurement set-asides and sole-source contracting opportunities. Establishing these categories in federal statute paves the way for the government-wide redefinition of sex as sought in the radical Equality Act.

Far too many questions are left unanswered by this ill-conceived policy. We do not know how such data will be certified or why the government saw a need to collect the information in the first place. Even more troublesome is the fact that the Democrat Majority in the House originally intended to pass the legislation on suspension of the rules, a process traditionally reserved for noncontroversial measures that will proceed through the chamber without objection. Thankfully, this first attempt failed to receive the necessary two-thirds vote for approval, forcing the Democrats to place the bill up for full consideration.

Although we hoped to see more Members stand strong against this Trojan horse, many fell in line with the woke Left’s agenda, including the lead Republican member of the Financial Services Committee. You can see how your Representative voted here. CWALAC will continue to toe the line of reason in these cultural battles. Please pray that our elected officials find the courage to do the same.

The Ongoing Fight to Protect Hyde

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

(Action item at the bottom of the post.)

President Biden’s $6 trillion Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal to Congress breaks over four decades of bipartisan precedent by removing the Hyde Amendment, a prohibition on federal funding of elective abortion through Medicaid, Medicare disability, and other programming under Health and Human Services appropriations. As Congress proceeds with the appropriations process, pro-life advocates are gearing up to ensure that this time-honored safeguard is preserved.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently launched “Eighteen Days for H.R. 18,” a strategy utilizing procedural maneuvers to seek immediate consideration of H.R. 18, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act. This legislation would make the Hyde Amendment permanent and expand its applicability across all government programming, including Obamacare. CWALAC is scoring all votes related to the measure.

As of today, over 20 members have taken to the House floor to publicly highlight the importance of codifying the Hyde Amendment and defending life. On June 23, 2021, a key procedural vote put House Democrats on the record in obstruction of H.R. 18 and its progression through the chamber. This is far from the end of the fight. Our pro-life allies in Congress need our support as they continue to reject this Administration’s brazen assault on our most vulnerable and the conscience rights of American taxpayers.

Learn more about Hyde and its related pro-life provisions in the federal budget here!

Join us in sending a strong message to members of Congress to hold the line and protect life in the federal budget. Visit CWA’s Action Center to contact your Senators and Representative today.

The Left’s Quest for Abortion on Demand

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

On June 16, 2021, the Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution held a hearing titled “Protecting Roe: Why We Need the Women’s Health Protection Act,” a timely homage to Roe v. Wade and the left’s newest legislative push for abortion on demand. Just last month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a challenge to Mississippi’s ban (with limited exceptions) on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Congressional Democrats are now working double time to enshrine the right to elective abortion in federal law despite public opinion trending heavily in favor of protecting preborn life.

The so-called “Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021” (WHPA) aims to codify and expand Roe, invalidating nearly every state restriction on abortion nationwide. The bill’s proponents are so blinded by their cause that they refuse to recognize the callous destruction of innocent human life. One hearing witness, Melissa Ohden, a saline abortion survivor and Founder and Director of the Abortion Survivors Network, urged policymakers to face this reality. “Life is the foundation of all other rights. The very fact that this hearing is being held shows that everyone in this room was granted the privilege to retain that right—a privilege I was denied.” Ms. Ohden declared that she and her fellow survivors are an “inconvenient truth,” one that complicates abortionists’ unyielding pro-choice campaign. Read her full testimony here.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the lead Republican member of the subcommittee, provided a compelling opening statement to clarify the issues at stake. Watch it here.

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) implores all members of Congress to listen to the truth about the sanctity of human life and the real meaning of women’s health. Elective abortion is not healthcare, and it does not protect women. As the Biden Administration proposes to repeal every long-standing pro-life safeguard from our federal budget and Congress considers extreme measures like the WHPA, CWALAC will continue to be on the front lines defending life and holding elected officials accountable for inaction.

Learn more about the Women’s Health Protection Act here.

No Hiding from the Hyde Amendment

By | Hyde Amendment, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Appropriations season is upon us. As President Biden unveils his $6 trillion Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal to Congress, it is time again to protect longstanding prohibitions on the use of federal funds for elective abortions. We currently face an unprecedented threat to the time-honored safeguards of the Hyde Amendment and related provisions.

The Hyde Amendment was introduced in 1976 to stop the flow of federal taxpayer dollars for abortion following the Roe v. Wade decision. Every annual spending bill over the last four decades has included this provision, defending the conscience rights of a strong majority of Americans who would otherwise be forced to pay for the destruction of human life. Additional Hyde-like pro-life amendments have since emerged to apply these critical restrictions to other relevant federal programs, both domestic and international.

Abortion giant Planned Parenthood and its industry allies have tightened their grip on the highest echelons of government power to finance their cause. Yet most Americans agree that the abortion industry should not receive federal funds and that preborn life deserves protection. A recent Marist poll found that 76% of Americans support restrictions on abortions after the first trimester, at the very least. Funding for overseas abortion is opposed by 77% of Americans and even 64% of pro-choice voters. Further, 58% of Americans support the original Hyde Amendment.

Unfortunately, President Biden has abandoned his previous position and promise to defend Hyde, a troubling sign that he is beholden to radical leftist interests rather than the will of the American people. Many in the Democrat majority in Congress have pledged to repeal these life-saving measures, raising the stakes even higher for the battle ahead. If they cannot get their way on Hyde, some have even proposed grant programs to directly fund Planned Parenthood clinics.

In anticipation of the Biden budget request, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee joined dozens of others in the pro-life community in a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to guarantee inclusion of the Hyde Amendment and related provisions in FY 2022 appropriations. Nearly 2.5 million precious lives have been preserved since Hyde’s inception. We cannot sit idly by while this Administration seeks to open to floodgates and send our hard-earned tax dollars to those preying on the most vulnerable among us. As appropriations season commences, we must hold Congress accountable for holding the line on Hyde.

SBA Administrator Withholds the Truth on Funding to Planned Parenthood

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has obstructed proper Congressional oversight of the COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through its refusal to share information on over $90 million in total loans to Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

At a recent Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing, Ranking Member Rand Paul demanded answers on the unlawful distribution of funds to PPFA affiliates deemed ineligible for the aid program. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman dodged the inquiry, failing to recognize the critical need for transparency on the use of precious taxpayer dollars. Under her leadership, the SBA approved at least $17.6 million in additional loans to PPFA, including a maxed-out $10 million loan to Planned Parenthood of Greater New York just before the program exhausted funds in early May 2021. This despite ongoing inquiries regarding $80 million in aid yet to be returned by 38 affiliates. Paul underscored the role of the Hyde Amendment to prevent federal money from going to abortions, thus preserving Americans’ conscience protection rights.

The SBA’s failure to enforce the rules against Planned Parenthood sends a clear message. This Administration will stop at nothing to protect the abortion industry’s survival, even at the expense of our nation’s small, main street businesses who are truly in need.

We stand behind the efforts of Sen. Rand Paul and others to uncover the truth and hold bad actors accountable. Our leaders must not stop until funds are returned, necessary legal action is taken, and the proper controls are instituted to prevent such a scandal from occurring again.

View the full exchange: Dr. Rand Paul Questions SBA Administrator Guzman on Planned Parenthood PPP Loans – May 26, 2021