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Annabelle Rutledge

Major wins this week for the federal circuit courts

By | Blog, Religious Liberty | No Comments

On Monday, October 30, Penny was asked to speak at a press conference at the Capitol led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley(R-Iowa) and including other Republican Senators as well as religious liberty groups. The conference was regarding the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Remember that Professor Amy Coney Barrett was the nominee who was attacked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) for her strong faith. Sen. Feinstein created a religious litmus test when she insinuated that Prof. Barrett was unfit for the job because the “dogma lives loudly” within her.

Concerned Women for America has stood behind Prof. Barrett’s nomination from the beginning. On Monday Penny stood before a room full of media, proud to represent you and to affirm support for this abundantly qualified woman of faith.

“As the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, the largest public policy organization for women in the nation, I am honored to support Professor Barrett as a more-than-qualified candidate for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Professor Barrett is unquestionably qualified for this appointment . . . I was disappointed to see in her confirmation hearing the inappropriate questioning of her faith. This Christian “dogma” that a few find appalling embodies the best of humanity.”

Monday’s press conference was specific to Professor Barrett’s confirmation but also highlighted the larger issue of judicial confirmations as a whole. Republicans have control of the House and Senate and yet confirming judicial nominees has moved at an extremely slow rate. Professor Barret was one of four nominees to be confirmed within the week along with Justice Joan Larsen nominated to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid for the 10th Circuit and Stephanos Bibas for the 3rd Circuit.

We are hopeful that this momentum will be sustained, and we will be working to ensure that is the case. Democrat senators may continue to slow the process as much as they can but voting against these stalwart men and women of character says more about them than the nominees.

Thank you for doing your part in this process and making your voices heard on this important issue.

House Republicans unveil tax reform

By | Blog, House Legislative Updates, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Press Releases, Uncategorized | No Comments

Washington D.C. – Today the House Ways and Means Committee unveiled the Republican tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Job Act.  Among many changes, it was revealed that a typical family of four earning $59,000 (median household income) will receive a $1,182 tax cut. The child tax credit will be raised to $1,600 per child from the previous $1,000 per child while providing a credit of $300 for each parent and non-child dependent to help all families with their everyday expenses.

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

“Thank you House Republicans for working to provide tax reforms that will directly impact the American family. Our nation has not seen an overhaul of our tax system since 1986 – we recognize that this was no easy task.

“I am encouraged by the pro-family focus of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which will better support American families who are struggling to keep up. An investment in American families is an investment in the future of America, and I hope that continues to be the focus as this bill moves to the Senate.

“Both the increase in the child tax credit and the preservation of the Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit are a step in the right direction. Americans should never be forced to choose between earning a paycheck and taking care of their children or parents.

“Reforming the tax system is not easy, but it is vital, and every step needs to be taken to ensure that money is being given back to hard-working American families. And so I look forward to seeing the Senate take this even further, specifically in the area of the child tax credit. CWA has been working with Ivanka Trump and the Trump Administration on increasing the Child Tax Credit in this tax reform package to $2500 per child. These reforms demonstrate the fact that America’s economy is not only business-driven but fueled by the family.”

Scott Lloyd, Director of ORR – champion and advocate for children in his care

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

There is no constitutional right for a pregnant minor to illegally cross the U.S. border and get an elective abortion while in a taxpayer funded federal program.

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that compels HHS to facilitate elective abortions for minors placed in taxpayer funded programs after they were apprehended illegally crossing into the U.S.

Instead of proceeding with options to depart federal custody which HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement offered her, the ACLU and judges agreeing with them sidestepped the U.S. Constitution.

As the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Scott Lloyd is responsible for the health and well-being of thousands of children. This is not a responsibility he takes lightly. He is faithfully serving the children in his care while continuing to uphold the laws of the land.

He has been their champion and advocate.

CWA on the front lines of pro-family tax reform

By | Blog, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Senate Legislative Updates, Uncategorized | No Comments

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is encouraged by the tax reform proposals set forth by the Trump Administration. As the framework continues to be filled out, CWALAC is working tirelessly to more than double the Child Tax Credit. We believe tax reform should be pro-family, in addition to pro-growth.

We are working closely with Ivanka Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), as well as other organizations from varying backgrounds — all united in the belief that pro-family tax reform is an investment in America’s future.

Linked is a joint statement CWALAC signed outlining specifics for enhancing the Child Tax Credit.

We are proud to be at the tip of the spear promoting pro-family tax reform.

 

Graham-Cassidy Bill: Last Chance for Health Care Reform

By | News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life, Senate Legislative Updates, Uncategorized | No Comments

Washington, D.C. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) as well as Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) have teamed up and introduced a bill that gives power over health care decisions back to the states and the American people. The Graham-Cassidy health care bill is the Senate’s last chance to pass health care reform with a simple majority vote through the reconciliation process in 2017. The Senate has a hard deadline of September 30.

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

“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is proud to support the Graham-Cassidy health care bill. It is time to make good on the promise made to the American people to end ObamaCare.

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for health care. Sens. Graham and Cassidy have provided a bill that gives power back to the states.

“Improving health care means protecting life at all stages, and Graham-Cassidy does just that. This legislation ensures that no funds within the bill will be, or can be, used to subsidize plans that provide abortion coverage &emdash; something every other bill has failed to address. Most importantly, it redirects Medicaid funds away from Planned Parenthood and gives them to federally qualified health centers which provide care for the whole woman.

“All the funds provided through this legislation will go through CHIP (Child Health Insurance Programs) &emdash; a bipartisan effort to ensure underprivileged children are able to receive healthcare. It is time to give Americans real care instead of “insurance” that is not worth the plastic on which it is printed.

“While it may not solve every problem plaguing the American health care and insurance industry, Graham-Cassidy is a vast improvement over the status quo, providing momentum that enables other issues to be addressed.

“The American people have been waiting eight years to be given back their right to make their own health care choices.

“Now is the time to make good on the promise made to the American people.”

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

The Radical Normality of the Pro-Life View

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

The world is shocked by the European Court of Human Rights decision to remove 10-month-old Charlie Gard from life support against the wishes of his parents. After his doctors said there was nothing more they could do for him, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, Charlie’s parents, raised 1.6 million dollars to move Charlie from London to the United States to pursue another treatment. Charlie has a rare genetic disorder that resulted in brain damage, and while the treatment they were pursuing was experimental, it was their last option in the fight for their son’s precious life.

But the doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital said, “No.” The High Court said, “No.” The Supreme Court said, “No.” The European Court of Human Rights said, “No.” The decision was final; Charlie Gard must die, because there is more “dignity” in removing him from life support than pursuing treatment. Death has become more dignified than life. And so the world is shocked.

I am not shocked. I am heartbroken and angry, but I am not surprised. The value of life begs for consistency. The moment it became acceptable to toss aside one human life, life everywhere became less valuable. For 50 years in England and 44 years in the United States, abortion has been legal. Throughout the decades that have followed, abortion has become morally acceptable. As it became acceptable for doctors to kill unborn children, absolute moral insensitivity followed.

At first there was the argument that the fetus was not a person. It served as a moral remedy for a time, but the majority of people today agree that this notion is now baseless. Science has shown us the heartbeats of children in the womb and their response to pain. We know they are human.

There is no excuse anymore, and there has not been such an excuse for a long time. But abortions have continued, in spite of the knowledge that the heartbeat on an ultrasound is not unlike the one that beats inside of you and me.

Following the legalization of abortion in the western world, the last several decades have witnessed so-called ethicists arguing for “after-birth abortions” or infanticide, the killing of infants after they are born. “Death with dignity” — euthanasia laws — have been passed throughout Europe and various states in the U.S. Peter Singer, the well-known moral philosopher and Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, wrote, “[T]he notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval.”

Abortion has put us on a slippery slope headed towards moral bankruptcy. Americans have cried out against the European courts for ruling against Charlie’s parents, for ruling against the fight for Charlie’s life. But America? We are headed down that same slope. We are on our way, unless we choose to be exceptional in our regard for all human life. Pope John Paul II said these words to America in 1987, and they are just as apropos today.

“America the beautiful! So you sing in one of your national songs. Yes, America, you are beautiful indeed, and blessed in so many ways … But your greatest beauty and your richest blessing is found in the human person: in each man, woman, and child …

“For this reason, America, your deepest identity and truest character as a nation is revealed in the position you take towards the human person. The ultimate test of your greatness in the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones.

“The best traditions of your land presume respect for those who cannot defend themselves. If you want equal justice for all, and true freedom and lasting peace, then, America, defend life! All the great causes that are yours today will have meaning only to the extent that you guarantee the right to life and protect the human person …”

There are many takeaways for the United States from the story of Charlie Gard, including the implications of state-run health care and parental rights. But the most prominent and the most vital to our success as a nation is a deep respect and genuine care for the intrinsic value of all human life. The idea that life is to be fought for, fiercely, until the very end should not be radical, it should be expected.

 

Annabelle Rutledge serves as Communications Coordinator for Concerned Women for America.

SCOTUS Issues Decisive Win for Religious Liberty

By | Blog, Missouri, News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Liberty | No Comments

Media StatementWashington, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court just issued their opinion on Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, the most important religious liberty case of the term. In a 7 to 2 decision, the Court declared unconstitutional the state of Missouri’s discrimination of a learning center because of their religious beliefs.

Penny Nance, CEO & President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), had this to say:

“Today is a great day for religious liberty.  Everyone wins. As we said at Concerned Women for America’s rally in the front of the Supreme Court on the day of oral arguments, every mom knows that a scraped knee hurts the same at whatever school your child attends – religious or not.

“The Supreme Court has always made clear that the First Amendment in no way requires the state’s hostility towards religion, and, in this case, Missouri’s own attorney admitted they were being overly cautious by discriminating against this school.  They admitted they would not violate the constitution by giving the money to them.

“Religious institutions, like schools, hospitals, and shelters, should be encouraged in their benevolent work.  Our society has benefited from their selfless commitment to help communities since our country’s founding, and the insistence of some in our society that we push them out of the public square because their love of neighbor comes from their love of God is ridiculous.

“The hundreds of thousands of members of Concerned Women for America applaud the justices, and we hope and pray this opinion signifies the beginning of a trend towards a loosening of the constraints on liberty they’ve unwisely (and unconstitutionally) imposed on us for decades.”

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