All Posts By

Annabelle Rutledge

CWA Hard at Work on the Pain Capable Bill

By | Blog, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

On Monday, January 29, the Senate failed to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This legislation, sometimes referred to as the 20 Week Ban, protects unborn children nationwide after 20 weeks’ gestation based on the scientific fact that an unborn child can feel pain in utero. This legislation also protects women who face a substantially higher risk of complications from a late-term abortion.

Although it was highly unlikely the bill would pass, Penny Nance, CWA CEO and President; Caroline Aderholt, CWA Chief of Staff, and Jaime Ballew, CWA Legislative Director, met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) several times to encourage him to put the bill on the floor. Each time there was hesitation because although we had worked since January to get cosponsors, there were no Democrat cosponsors on the Senate bill. Leader McConnell finally agreed to a vote, and we knew the stakes were high. The last time the Senate voted on this bill was in 2015 and although it failed, three Democrat Senators who are still serving, Sens. Manchin (D-West Virginia), Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and Donnelly (D-Indiana), voted in favor of the bill. We could not lose these Senators this time around.

Once we had a date for a vote, we activated our faithful grassroots to contact their senators and encourage them to vote in favor of this legislation. In CWA’s national office, we were working up until the vote took place to ensure your voice was being heard.

CWA national staff headed to Capitol Hill Monday to lobby Senators we knew would be on the fence or are facing reelection. Watch the Facebook Live from that morning to hear some statistics surrounding the bill and which Senators we were visiting. Letters urging a “Yes” vote were delivered by CWA staff to six offices.  Janae Stracke, CWA National Field Director and Annabelle Rutledge, CWA Communications Coordinator, stayed on the Hill all day listening to the arguments on the floor and live-tweeting at senators. They were joined by Penny in the Senate gallery for the vote.

The bill failed on a vote 51-46 with Democrat Senators from overtly pro-life states choosing to vote against their constituents. You can learn how your Senator voted here.

The vote was disappointing but not unexpected. The Democrats may be acting out of their own interest, but science, common sense, and the majority of Americans (60%) are on our side. So we got right back to work. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) asked Penny to a meeting in his office with other pro-life leaders immediately following the vote. The Senator tweeted a picture of everyone in his office and said “Vote just ended, and I’m already meeting with leaders of the #ProLife movement. Tomorrow, we start building additional support for Pain Capable. I have no doubt we will eventually be victorious! #TheyFeelPain

Since the vote, we have been calling out Senators who chose to vote “No” instead of representing their states. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Sen. Doug Jones (D-Alabama), and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) each represent pro-life states but chose to ignore their constituents who wanted a “Yes” vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. We posted a video of Sen. Heitkamp high-fiving Sen. Schumer (D-New York) after voting no, highlighting how out of touch she is with her home state. You can see the video here. \

Every senator who voted against this bill chose to side with human rights violators like China and North Korea where no such abortion restriction exists, instead of Americans who overwhelmingly want this enacted nationwide. Imagine that in a campaign ad.

Although this bill failed to pass this time around, we are able to use this vote to our advantage in the future and are confident that we can use this bill to move the needle on life at the Federal level.

Senate Failed to Pass Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

By | Blog, Missouri, News and Events, North Dakota, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the Senate failed to pass S. 2311, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, by a vote of 51-46. This bill would have ended elective abortions after 20 weeks.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued the following statement:

“Senators like Doug Jones (D-Alabama), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), and Claire McCaskell (D-Missouri), who represent states where voters overwhelmingly support life, will have much to answer for in their next election.

“Today, these senators had a chance to stand for life. They chose to vote against life. They had a chance to defend the dignity of both children and their mothers. Instead, they voted without regard for the most vulnerable among us.

“The United States calls itself a champion of human rights but is one of only seven nations to allow abortion after 20 weeks when it has been proven that babies feel extreme pain. Today, we continue to align ourselves with countries such as China, North Korea, and Vietnam.

“A recent Marist poll showed that 60% of Americans support ending abortions after 20 weeks, but that majority had no voice today. It’s time to do better.”

For an interview with Penny Nance, contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

Cecile Richards Steps Down

By | Blog, News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

Washington, D.C. – Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, plans to step down after more than a decade.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, had this to say:

“Under the leadership of Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood has grown to push one agenda – abortion above all else – while throwing aside any inkling of actual medical care. Cancer screenings and STD testing have all declined under her reign.

“Under Cecile’s leadership, Planned Parenthood has been exposed for refusing to report statutory rape and abuse, for aiding sex traffickers, for taking money to abort black babies, and for illegally profiting off of the body parts they have aborted. Ms. Richards leaves the organization just as the FBI is investigating likely criminal actions by the abortion giant.

“If Planned Parenthood is serious about standing up for the women they claim to represent, they will hire someone who understands medicine and accepts the facts that abortion does not help women but only inflicts harm and destruction. This is their chance to turn the organization around for the good and actually help women, instead of constantly telling them they cannot fulfill their dreams without abortion.”

For an interview with Penny Nance contact Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] or 916-792-3973.

Join CWA at the 2018 March for Life!

By | Blog, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Join CWA at the 2018 March for Life!


Friday, January 19, for the 45th annual March for Life here in Washington, D.C.


The March for Life Rally will take place at 12th St. on the National Mall in between Madison Drive and Jefferson Drive.

Following the Rally, the March will begin on Constitution Avenue between 12th and 14th Streets.

What time: 

9:30 a.m.  There will be breakfast and coffee at the CWA headquarters

11:00 a.m.  Leave CWA headquarters and walk to the Rally

12:00 p.m.  The Rally starts

1:00 p.m.  The March begins


If you will be able to stop by the CWA office that morning, please email Annabelle Rutledge at [email protected] and let her know.

(You are welcome to come to any and/or all of the events held that day! Head over to the March for Life website to learn more about details, speakers, and to download maps.)

The mainstream media wants us to believe that most people support abortion and that abortion is anti-woman, but the reality is that in two weeks, hundreds of thousands of Americans will come together to celebrate life! And as Penny reminded us in a statement she wrote this week, being pro-life is the foundation of being pro-woman:

“Being pro-life is being pro-woman because this philosophy centers around the belief that women are created by God to be strong, free, loving, and uniquely distinct human beings.  We are blessed to be the givers of life through the distinct capability of growing and bearing children as well as the God-size ability to love our children unconditionally.  To ignore and dishonor this particular aspect of our God-given femininity is to ignore and dishonor a vital part of our very essence.

“We are not simply men with different sexual organs.  Indeed, women are the gift God gave the world to ensure civility, order and love is brought forth through the ages. Though we too are broken human beings and in need of saving Grace, through us the best of mankind is able to thrive.  Our ability to give life should make us ardent evangelists for an ethic of Iife. Humanity depends on our recognition of the preciousness of human life to discourage war, to value the poor, the sick and the weak and to care for the ‘least of these.’  Without this ethic of life, all humans become only utilitarian shells to produce or die.

“And history has shown that women and children suffer the most when ideology is divorced from an ethic of life.  Even today, societies which do not value life destroy ethnic groups they despise or strap bombs on children and send them into war.  And in a pro-abortion culture women are told that is it perfectly normal to walk into abortion clinics and destroy their own offspring.  This is not just an impractical exercise in philosophical thought; a pro-life ideology is essential to the protection of women and their children.”

Congress Approved Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

By | Blog, News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, the House approved the Senate-passed conference report of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill that overhauls the tax system. The bill will now head to President Trump’s desk for signature.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued the following statement:

“Our tax system is unnecessarily complex and outdated, and I applaud the House and Senate for coming together to create reform that will benefit the American family. Speaker Ryan has been tirelessly working to reform the tax code since he was a hill staffer, and I offer my congratulations to him and gratefulness for his hard work, as well as the dedication and work of Chairman Brady (R – Texas), Chairman Black (R – Tennessee), Chairman Hatch (R – Utah), the conference committee, and House and Senate Leadership.

“This overhaul is pro-family and includes the doubling of the child tax credit to $2,000.  I applaud the conference committee for adopting the Senate-passed language that doubled the credit and made it refundable. Senators Rubio (R – Florida) and Lee (R – Utah), as well as Ivanka Trump, have worked hard to ensure this key element was not overlooked. This increase will allow parents more flexibility in how they choose to raise their children in an increasingly expensive environment. As pro-life Americans, we must ensure that the costs of raising a child do not make having children seem impossible. This credit expansion is an important element in this formula.

“Independent analysis has found that 80% of Americans will see tax cuts because of this bill. Shame on Democrats for falsely selling this as a one-sided reform that only helps the ultra rich and for failing to put aside petty politics to vote for a bill to help their constituents. Additionally, by lowering the corporate tax rate, America is again a competitive environment for business. This bill will not only create job growth but will put money back in the pockets of American workers. The voters will remember those who dug their heels in for the sake of partisanship and voted against tax cuts for the American family.”

CWA Joins Chris Gard and Connie Yates to ‘Pray for Justice’

By | Blog, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

This past summer, the short but impactful life of one little boy in the United Kingdom (UK), Charlie Gard, captured the attention of the world. Charlie was born with a rare mitochondrial disease, and just shy of his first birthday, he was removed from life support against his parents’ wishes.

It was a lengthy legal battle between Charlie’s parents who desired treatment and the UK government who ruled he should be forcibly removed from life support. Much of the world, including Pope Francis and President Trump, expressed support for Charlie.

Concerned Women for America was also on the frontline of the U.S. support for Charlie and his parents. CWA, along with other pro-life organizations, organized a press conference at the National Press Club in D.C. urging the Great Ormond Street Hospital and the UK High Court to allow Charlie’s parents to pursue potential life-saving treatment. Penny’s speech at the press conference can be seen here and the full video can be seen here.

It seemed that the whole world was on Charlie’s side – the whole world except the hospital and the UK court system. Ultimately, Charlie was removed from life support, and his parents were not even allowed to take him home for his last moments here on earth.

Recently Penny Nance, CWA CEO and President, was invited to the White House for a meeting with Chris Gard and Connie Yates, Charlie’s parents. She had the opportunity to ask how each of us at CWA headquarters and each of you at home could best pray for them. They answered, “Pray for justice.”

Chris and Connie will not allow baby Charlie to die in vain. Currently, the government in the UK can intervene if it is deemed in the best interest of the child. Chris and Connie are working to change the law in the UK from government intervention at the best interest of the child to government intervention only if it is shown that a child is being caused serious harm and needs an outside advocate.

Please join us in lifting up Chris, Connie, and the work they are doing to ensure no one else has to endure the pain they have been forced to endure through the loss of their baby at the hands of the government.

Israel and the Embassy Move: the Administration Heard Your Voice

By | Blog, News and Events, Support for Israel | No Comments

December 6, 2017 was an historic day – President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, 22 years after the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was affirmed by the Senate. The Jerusalem Embassy Act urged the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and respond by moving our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but for 22 years formal recognition and our embassy move were put on hold.

No one is naïve to the reality that moving the U.S. embassy is a bold move with potential ramifications. Nevertheless, it is a necessary move – this move says that the United States will not be bullied into inaction but we will stand by our strongest and only democratic ally in the region, that our presidents will uphold their campaign promises and listen to the voices of the American people.

CWA was honored to be your voice on this issue. Concerned Women for America has been advocating for the U.S. embassy to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem since President Trump took office.

Penny Nance was on CNN early this spring urging the President to “stand in lockstep with Israel” especially in the area of any disputed territory.

In May, before President Trump signed the Jerusalem Embassy Act waiver, CWA participated in the twitter campaign, #MoveTheEmbassy, in an effort to engage the public on the issue.

On behalf of each of you, Penny has personally discussed the issue with U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy, Dina Powell, Ivanka Trump, and President Donald Trump, thanking them for their work to repair our damaged relationship with the state of Israel.

Finally, CWA was party to letters sent to the administration regarding support for Israel which urged that our embassy be moved in acknowledgement that Jerusalem is the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state. One such letter can be read here.

We could not be more thankful for the supportive stance the Trump Administration has taken towards the state of Israel. Moving the United States embassy will leave a lasting impact in the Middle East.

Justice for Jack Recap

By | Blog, Legal, News and Events | No Comments

Today was an exciting day at the Justice for Jack Rally while the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. It was a peaceful but lively morning with a large crowd there to show support for Jack Phillips, Masterpiece Cakeshop, and religious freedom. Almost every member of the CWA staff was able to be there with signs, including some CWA people from out of state!

It was my honor to represent each of you and your support for Jack today as I spoke at the rally. Here is part of what I said:

“The question they face is: do men and women of faith still have the right to abstain from an action that merely inconveniences another based on their view of what the Bible tells them to do?  In this particular case, should Jack Phillips be forced to use his craft in celebration of a same sex marriage? Is there a compelling government interest that should force a baker to use his God-given talent in a way that violates his conscience?  There is no question that Phillips is a sincere believer.  He willingly serves homosexuals, hosts AA meetings and cares for the poor.  He simply asks to not be forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding.  Based on his faith, he also won’t make cakes for bachelor parties or for Halloween. Let’s be clear, this is not a refusal of service case:  Jack has often served the same couple who filed suit.”

Watch my full statement at the Supreme Court here and a video overview of CWA at the rally here.

President Trump Declares Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital and Announces Embassy Move

By | Blog, News and Events, Press Releases, Support for Israel | No Comments

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Donald Trump made a statement officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel. He ordered the State Department to begin the process of moving the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued the following statement:

“Today, I am thankful for President Trump’s courage in declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel and for his directive to the State Department to begin the process of moving our embassy. This has been years in the making, but no president has prioritized our relationship with Israel enough to take this important step.

“The United States has done little for Israel over the past eight years – this move will be restorative to U.S./Israeli relations.

“Thank you, President Trump, for working to fulfill your campaign promises. Moving our embassy will create a new legacy in the Middle East and prove the United States’ support for our strongest and only true democratic ally in the region.”

Join us at the Supreme Court to rally for Religious Liberty!

By | Blog, Legal, News and Events | No Comments


I would like to invite you to join Concerned Women for America and other pro-religious freedom organizations at the Supreme Court for a religious freedom rally in support of Jack Phillips. Our friends at The Radiance Foundation are sponsoring this event, and people are flying in from across the United States to show their support. We do not want you to miss out on this opportunity!

When:  Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Gathering at 7:00 a.m.

Where: Supreme Court of the United States
1 First St. NE
Washington, D.C. 20543
Sidewalk in front of steps

Jack is a cake artist who, in 2012, was asked to custom design a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex “marriage.” While Jack will serve any individual who walks through the doors of Masterpiece Cakeshop, he cannot create custom cakes that celebrate events or express messages that conflict with his faith. The State of Colorado is trying to force him to choose between his conscience and his livelihood.

On December 5, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in his case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. 

This case is going to be a landmark case, as it will set a precedent to either protect or inhibit our First Amendment rights — an issue our Legal Counsel, Mario Diaz, Esq., addressed in the amicus brief CWA submitted to the Supreme Court.

Please join me and the CWA team as we rally to support Jack and our First Amendment rights.