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Annabelle Rutledge

Biden’s First 100 Days – Recording Available

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Click here to watch the archived event hosted by Young Women for America.

Biden’s First 100 Days

  • With less than 100 days of the Biden Administration under our belt, faith-based organizations can already tell it will be a bumpy four years in the continuous fight for everything we hold dear.
  • In the history of the United States, we have never seen a frontal assault on our religious liberty and rights of conscience like we are witnessing today.

Administration and Appointees

  • The most important thing to note in a presidential administration is appointed personnel. Personnel equals policy.
  • We need to be deeply concerned about the impact of the thousands of people staffing our cabinet agencies, appointed judges, and staff in the White House who have a fundamentally unconstitutional view of religious liberty and rights of conscience.
  • Particular agencies to be concerned about: Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Department of Defense (DOD).
  • President Biden’s appointment and the Senate’s confirmation of Xavier Becerra as HHS Secretary is perhaps the most concerning. He is an attorney with no healthcare background. During Becerra’s time as California’s Attorney General, he targeted crisis pregnancy centers, trying to enforce a law that would mandate pro-life clinics to have to refer women to abortion centers.
  • This Administration’s HHS will be the strongest opposition to religious liberty we have seen in American history.
  • As President Biden’s Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona has the power to directly impact the rights and conscience of Christian schools, Catholic schools, and all other forms of private education.
  • Office of Legal Policy (OLP) is an office within the DOJ which frames policy and has direct impact on religious liberty and conscious laws.
  • President Biden’s Secretary of Defense, Gen. Lloyd Austin, took less than two weeks to formalize policies for sexuality questions, training, critical race theory, etc. We are watching the “wokeism” of the American military and Pentagon.

Legislation Supported by the Administration

  • The Equality Act is the single most dangerous piece of legislation in the realm of religious liberty that has ever been voted on in the House and introduced in the Senate.
  • H.R. 1 is equally as dangerous as the Equality Act as far as the integrity of our elections. The Democrats have said this legislation is their top priority.
  • H.R. 1 is the federalization and the unconstitutional grabbing and directing of all of our elections.
  • H.R. 1 and its Senate counterpart, S.R. 1, essentially claim the Founders were wrong in allowing states to create their own election laws. If our election laws are federalized, the first goal would be to clamp down on people of faith through securing elections that favor Democrat candidates.

Maintaining Hope 

  • A huge beacon of hope for us as conservative Christians is the Supreme Court.
  • These four years may be concerning, but we can be encouraged by the lifetime appointment of the Supreme Court Justices.
  • Our foundational rights are not something our government should be able to take from us because they don’t come from the government, the Founders, or our founding documents. Our rights are given to us by God.

Online Event: Biden’s First 100 Days

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Join us for this informative event hosted by Young Women for America.

The first 100 days of an Administration are a critical period. In those months, it becomes apparent what the focus and priorities of the new presidential administration are. We are currently three months into the Biden Administration.

Joining us to discuss the Biden Administration’s impingements on rights of conscience and religious liberty is Tim Goeglein, Vice President of External and Government Relations for Focus on the Family. Tim is the former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.

Join us via Zoom to take stock of what is going on in our country and what is on the horizon.

Here are the details:
Date: Monday, April 12
Time: 5:30 p.m. Eastern (4:30 p.m. Central; 3:30 p.m. Mountain; 2:30 p.m. Pacific)
Register here for the event. An email with the link for the call and information will follow registration. We invite you to share this event with family and friends.

YWA’s viewpoints “too risky” for tech platform

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By Annabelle Rutledge, National Director of YWA

I recently had an informational Zoom call with the owner of a company I was hoping to work with as the National Director of Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Young Women for America (YWA) program. He seemed optimistic about the possibility of working with us, but then as we discussed our conservative values and the current “cancel culture” climate, things seemed to change.

A few days later, I received an email stating that he regretted they would not be able to work with YWA due to “potential business risk factors.” The risk factor? Our Christian, conservative beliefs. The goal of YWA is to train and equip high school and college female leaders who take a stand on campus for the Biblical values and conservative principles in which they believe.

At the risk of sounding like a victim, I challenge you to find another group of people in America more targeted for viewpoint discrimination than conservative women and other conservative minorities. Spend some time talking to a conservative woman of color, and you won’t believe the stories they have to tell.

While I have had my share of insults hurled my direction (namely something about being a “gender traitor” because I want little humans to have a chance at life outside the womb), I have never felt so directly “on trial,” if you will, for my beliefs than talking to this man discussing a possible business partnership. But this is not an isolated incident. The young women I represent and conservative women everywhere experience this discrimination on a regular basis.

What we were seeking was simply a platform to track projects and engagement from our student leaders with a built-in incentive program. Social media is, of course, a huge facet of digital advocacy and one of the main ways to track how engaged our leaders are in sharing our content. It was because social media is a part of this conversation that the topic of de-platforming came up.

From there, he told me that our content would be monitored and asked if our student leaders advocate violence. I found this offensive. I don’t even have to wonder if someone whose website promoted Black Lives Matter or supported Planned Parenthood would be asked the same question. We all know they wouldn’t dare.

The question is also pointless, isn’t it? Neither CWA nor YWA would ever advocate violence, but does what I say matter when objective truth has been completely thrown out the window and replaced with abject subjectivity?

A cursory glance at our website tells you that we are unapologetically pro-life. We are pro-life because the value of human life is not diminished by the minutes, hours, days, or years we have lived. We are also pro-life because we have great compassion for everyone touched by abortion providers who care more about their bottom line than the mothers, fathers, children, and families who are left in the devastating wake of the decision to abort. We advocate life, not death.

However, there are individuals on the other side of this issue who label those who stand up for unborn lives as domestic terrorists. The fact that it is all a lie seems to make no difference in today’s day and age.

I explained that to the representative of the company. I could not help but point out the awkward position I’m in as a conservative woman of faith having to endure this sort of interrogation and be forced to prove my worth via a Zoom call because of my viewpoint on social-political issues.

This small tech business entrepreneur may not be actively trying to discriminate against me or Young Women for America. As a business owner, it is his prerogative to deny a client. But why did he decline to work with us? Because he is a coward. He is afraid of being canceled and losing other left-leaning beauty bloggers and makeup guru clients he has.

Sadly, there are not many business platforms that offer the service for which YWA is looking. This platform rejecting us based solely on our viewpoint puts an undue burden on us to find an alternative that we are not sure exists.

One thing is certain. Conservatives are systematically being targeted, both actively and passively, when it comes to the marketplace of ideas. Viewpoint discrimination against conservatives is being normalized, and our society is the collective loser.

Women may have had to shatter glass ceilings throughout history, but as Sen. Lindsey Graham noted during Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court hearing, conservative women are still fighting to break through the reinforced concrete barrier society wants to constantly keep building over us.

ERA Talking Points

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The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) proposes that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” and that “The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

      • The ERA may sound good, but in reality, it would erase the legal distinction between men and women, deny female dignity, and leave women unprotected.
      • Women are already equal under U.S. law. Women’s “equality of rights under the law” is already recognized in the 14th Amendment.
      • Through established law such as Title IX, Equal Opportunity Act of 1963, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and Equal Pay Act, women have made huge strides against institutional discrimination in education, employment, sports, politics, and many other aspects of society.
      • By adding an equality amendment based on “sex,” the ERA could have a reverse effect on women’s progress.
      • Under the ERA, legal gains, programs, and policy reforms that are aimed at benefiting women could potentially be declared unconstitutional, such as
        • Provisions in the Violence Against Women Act
        • Programs such as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
        • Special protections in marriage, divorce, alimony, and child custody
        • Accommodations for pregnant women in the workforce
        • Spousal social security benefits
        • Female protections on college campuses relating to safety
        • Title IX scholarships and admissions
      • The ERA could also be a tool to promote abortion [1] by enabling courts to rule that any restrictions on abortion would “perpetuate gender inequality.” [2]
      • The ERA would allow federal courts and legislative powers to reinterpret every law making a distinction based on sex or gender. This means that
        • Any limits on abortion or denying taxpayer-funded abortions would be seen as sex discrimination.
        • Women-only safe spaces like sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, or domestic violence shelters could be seen as a form of sex discrimination.
        • A woman could potentially be forced into military services against her will.
      • Erasing the legal distinction between men and women denies female dignity and leaves women unprotected. In order to support and uphold the rights, dignity, and opportunities of women, we must oppose the ERA.

————————————————————–

[1] NARAL Pro-Choice America. (n.d.). ERA Y-E-S. Retrieved from https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/campaign/era_yes/

[2] Image of national email alert from NARAL Pro-Choice America, March 13, 2019, asserting that “the ERA would reinforce the constitutional right to abortion . . . [it] would require judges to strike down anti-abortion laws . . .”. (2019, April 1). Retrieved from https://www.nrlc.org/federal/era/image-of-national-email-alertfrom-naral-pro-choice-america-march-13-2019-national-alert-asserting-that-the-era-would-reinforce-theconstitutional-right-to-abortion-it-would-require-judg/


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Equality Act Talking Points

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Equality Act Talking Points

  • The Equality Act’s unverifiable and unscientific attempt to address discrimination by elevating protections for certain groups on the basis of a new definition of sex is a direct threat against every woman in America.
  • The Equality Act would upend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by replacing “sex” with “sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”
  • The word “sex” would no longer be understood as “biologically male and female” in civil rights law.
  • All federally funded entities would be forced to interpret “sex” as including multiple and fluid gender identities, or “the gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of the individual’s designated sex at birth.
  • There are virtually NO limitations, and “gender Identity” Is totally reliant on self-identification.
  • The Equality Act would force public facilities to allow men and boys who identify as women or girls to use the same bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, domestic violence shelters, and prisons as women or girls.
  • The Equality Act would force employers to hire or assign men who identify as women to jobs requiring sensitivity to the physical privacy rights of women and girls such as intimate medical examinations, supervision of domestic violence shelters or prisons, airport security pat downs, strip searches, or supervision of overnight school field trips.
  • The Equality Act would deny female athletes a fair playing field in sports competitions.
  • Any current law or policy gains traditionally and specifically aimed at benefiting women could legally be used by men identifying as women.
  • The Equality Act elevates “gender identity” over the protected class of “sex,” threatening gains women have made in law, programs, and policy reforms over the past decades.
  • The Equality Act prohibits anyone from making a claim or raising a defense against these special protections under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). It is a blatant effort to diminish religious freedom and force people of faith to conform to gender ideology under threat of law.

Taken from CWA’s letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.


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Violence Against Women Act Talking Points

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Violence Against Women Act Talking Points

  • The purpose of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) from its inception has been to protect, support, and seek justice for women who have suffered assault or abuse.
  • Current VAWA law grants special protections to people who identify themselves as female but are biologically male, both by defining them as “underserved populations” and elevating their rights above those of women seeking refuge from violence.
  • There is no reason to compromise a female victim’s privacy and safety by granting access to male-bodied transgender individuals in women’s shelters.
  • Title XI of the bill gives preferential placement decisions to males in custody asserting identity as women.
  • Nondiscrimination provisions in current law weaponize transgender activism against biological women.
  • VAWA reauthorization must ensure that nothing in the intent or implementation of its provisions can be interpreted as a requirement to compromise, threaten, or undermine the privacy, safety, and rights of females in order to accommodate transgender individuals.

Taken from CWA’s letter to the House of Representatives.


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Sharia Law Talking Points

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On International Women’s Day (Monday, March 8), Young Women for America (YWA) National Director, Annabelle Rutledge, was honored to interview Mariam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. During our interview, we were inspired by Mariam’s boldness and gained a better understanding through her story of what it is like living under Sharia Law.

If you missed YWA’s leader call and want to watch it back, you can view it here. Below are key talking points on Sharia law.

  • Sharia is the fundamental religious concept of Islam – namely, its law is derived from the Qur’an, Hadiths, and Sunnah.
  • For any nation under Sharia law, the idea of separation of church and state is non-existent and Islamic concepts govern all areas of life.
  • The Islamic law includes extreme facets that degrade the value of human life, such as:
    • A Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately.
    • Non-Muslims are forbidden to marry Muslim women.
    • Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging, and even for crimes of sin such as adultery.
    • There is no age limit for the marriage of girls. The marriage contract can take place any time after birth and can be consummated at age eight or nine.
    • Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her, and keeps her from leaving the home.[1]
  • Thankfully, here in the United States, we do not embody the principles of Islamic law. Muslims living in the U.S. are free to practice their religion, but like every other citizen, they are only permitted to do so within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Even still, the United States has seen several instances of Muslims acting within the Sharia law and outside the bounds of the Constitution.
    • For example, on January 1, 2008, an Egyptian living in Texas shot his own two daughters in a parked car simply because they were dating Americans. [2]
  • Of course, not every Muslim living in the United States abides by Sharia law; however, it is important that we understand that Islamic law is dangerous and that we fight against any effort to allow it to creep into American society and courts.
  • There have been instances of Islamic husbands trying to use Sharia law as legal foundation in United States courts.
    • In 2010, a New Jersey court saw a case in which the husband had repeatedly abused his wife and told her their religion (Islam) was the basis for his abuse. The court allowed an Imam to offer expert testimony in which he said, according to Islamic law, the wife is required to submit to the husband’s demands and that there was no criminal intent since the husband was operating within his religious beliefs.
    • The judge allowed this testimony to supersede state law. Thankfully, the decision was reversed, but it highlights a legitimate concern as Islam is antithetical to the ideas of freedom in the U.S. Constitution. [3]
  • Though we are called to love those practicing different religions and do, that does not mean we should disregard dangerous and evil practices. We should be alert in making sure that political correctness is not weaponized to allow for evil.
  • As Christians, we should ultimately be praying for those in the radical Islamic faith who are stuck in a system that does not value human life. Despite the dangers they may face for leaving the Muslim faith, our strongest desire should be that they find salvation in Jesus Christ.

[1] Nonie Darwish, “Sharia for Dummies,” Front Page Magazine, August 26, 2010, https://archives.frontpagemag.com/fpm/sharia-dummies-nonie-darwish/.

[2] Claire Cardona, “Video offers glimpse into relationship slain Lewisville sisters had with father accused of killing them in taxi,” Dallas News, February 2, 2017, https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2017/02/03/video-offers-glimpse-into-relationship-slain-lewisville-sisters-had-with-father-accused-of-killing-them-in-taxi/.

[3]Maxim Lott, “Advocates of Anti-Shariah Measures Alarmed by Judge’s Ruling,” Fox News, August 5, 2010 https://www.foxnews.com/us/advocates-of-anti-shariah-measures-alarmed-by-judges-ruling

 


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Register Today! International Women’s Day with Mariam Ibrahim

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Falsely accused, sentenced to be hung, and shackled in a prison cell while she gave birth, Mariam Ibrahim is a modern-day hero of our Christian faith, an outstanding mother, and is joining Young Women for America on International Women’s Day to share her story.

Join Young Women for America via Zoom to learn more about Mariam’s story and the reality of life in nations that uphold Sharia law.

Date: Monday, March 8
Time:
5:30 p.m. Eastern (4:30 p.m. Central; 3:30 p.m. Mountain; 2:30 p.m. Pacific)
Register here. An email with the link and information will follow registration.

About Mariam Ibrahim
Born in Sudan, Mariam was raised by her Christian mother and accepted Christ. According to Sharia (Islamic) law, religion is dictated by an individual’s father, and Mariam’s father is Muslim. When Mariam was married to her Christian husband, critics first accused them of adultery and finally accused Mariam of apostasy of leaving her father’s faith. Her story gained national attention. Here at Concerned Women for America, we were honored to take up her cause. We prayed faithfully and rallied outside the White House.

By the grace of God, the power of prayer, and the efforts of many, Mariam lives in the United States today. She uses her platform to declare the importance of human dignity and freedom of religion. You do not want to miss Mariam’s story!

Big Tech & Censorship Talking Points

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On February 9, 2021, Young Women for America (YWA) National Director Annabelle Rutledge was honored to host Rachel Bovard, Senior Director of Policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute, on the topic of Big Tech and Censorship. Rachel is also a senior adviser to the Internet Accountability Project and has submitted testimony to Congress on the dangers of viewpoint discrimination and censorship from Big Tech.

If you missed YWA’s Leader Call and want to watch it back, you can view it here. Below are key talking points from our time learning from Rachel.

  • The issue of Big Tech and Censorship is no longer merely a debate on what we can say on social media, but about power colluding to control free speech and the marketplace of ideas in the United States.
  • Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, etc., control the public space and thus, control the narrative.
  • These platforms aren’t even just social sites anymore; they are market access retail sites, which means their censorship has an impact on small businesses.
  • The way that they control access to information has an unparalleled effect on society. We saw this most dramatically when the platforms collectively engaged in a total blackout on the New York Post Hunter Biden story.
  • Original – (As a result, Americans couldn’t access information on corruption in a presidential candidate’s family that has a significant impact on how we vote in this country. This is no small thing!)
  • We have also seen censorship in regards to COVID- 19. Social sites decided what information you were allowed to access, even censoring medical professionals. They seemingly declared themselves smarter than medical doctors by deciding what information you have access to about the disease and its treatments.
  • As Conservatives, we were ill-prepared for this moment. It was a slow fade until it wasn’t! Our propensity towards the free market tends toward a hands-off approach, but in this case, the level of market manipulation demands change.
  • When people say that these platforms are just private companies making content moderation decisions, there is a gross misunderstanding of the one-sided viewpoint discrimination taking place at the behest of the government and veiled by private companies.
  • The government is hiding behind Big Tech and relying on them to censor the American people as an extension of the government.
    • In the summer of 2020, Facebook interfered with private citizens’ constitutionally protected free speech by not allowing anti-lockdown protesters to organize using their platform.
    • In this case, Facebook was working on behalf of the government. The government could not shut down constitutionally protected free speech, so Facebook, acting as the arm of the government, took care of it for them. This is a real danger.
    • Google, Facebook, and Amazon worked together to get Parler taken off of the App Store, the Play Store, and Amazon Web Services because “It was used to plan      insurrection.” In reality, Facebook, and Instagram by proxy, were more widely used in the planning leading up to January 6.
  • When Michelle Obama tweeted out that she wanted Donald Trump banned from the big tech platforms, Big Tech did it. This should scare us. Big tech should not have the ability to silence political opponents.
  • When corporate power fuses with government power, it is the literal definition of fascism in that it is dictatorial power and forcible suppression of opposition.
  • A healthy government, and even private companies, should recognize that there is room for everyone in the marketplace of ideas.
  • The answer to bad speech should be more speech by allowing our ideas to flourish and having a healthy debate. Big Tech is trying to put an end to that – to a deliberate and one-sided end.

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Prayer

Write Prayer for CWA’s Prayer Journal

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YWA Challenge: Write Prayer for CWA’s Prayer Journal.

Would you like to be published in Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) For America Prayer Journal? CWA is in the process of collecting 365 written prayers that will be turned into a published prayer guide. We would be honored to have your submission.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Pick an issue close to your heart and write a half-page or one-page prayer.
  • Ideas for topics: pray for one of CWA’s seven core issues (Sanctity of Life, Defense of the Family, National Sovereignty, Religious Liberty, Education, Sexual Exploitation, Support for Israel), our government, our federal and state governmental leaders, your peers, high school and college campuses, teachers, censorship, etc.
  • Submit your prayer to youngwomen4america@gmail.com with the subject line “For America Prayer Journal Submission.”

Read samples of the prayers that have already been written to get an idea.

Praying the Full Armor of God
A Prayer for Congress
Prayer for our Cities

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: February 26, 2021

Make a Video. Stand up for Title IX. Protect Women’s Sports.

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YWA Challenge: Make a Video. Stand up for Title IX. Protect Women’s Sports.

The Left’s attempt to undermine Title IX by allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports is a direct attack on you, your generation, and the lives of women to come. Attacks on Title IX set back decades of progress. NOW is the time for you to lead this conversation.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Film a 30-second video of yourself sharing why Title IX and the protection of women’s sports is so important to you.
  2. Orient your phone horizontally.
  3. End the video with this statement: “Protect Women’s Sports. Stand up for Title IX.”
  4. Send the video to youngwomen4america@gmail.com.
  5. Invite your friends to do the same!

Get creative with the backdrop and/or your attire. You can film anywhere BUT if you play a sport, utilize that as a backdrop (basketball court, volleyball court, track, etc.)

Ideas for talking points:

  • Men and women are biologically different. Men have a proven biological advantage over women.
  • Title IX was created for the express purpose of ensuring a fair playing field for women and girls.
  • Female athletes are actively losing championship spots to male-born athletes.
  • The loss for girls goes beyond high school sports as it impacts college scholarship opportunities.
  • Most of all – make it personal. This is a short video, and people need to hear why this topic matters to you.
  • Don’t forget to end with “Protect Women’s Sports. Stand up for Title IX.”

Impeachment 2.0: What are Dems so scared of?

By | National Sovereignty, News and Events, YWA | No Comments

Remember in 2019 when the House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump? In a blatant display of how out of touch the average American is when it comes to matters of civics, Gen Zers and Millennials took to the internet to celebrate that Donald Trump was no longer president. Yikes! Civics professors everywhere were cringing and hopefully revising their syllabi to cover the U.S. Constitution. That’s a stretch, but we can hope. As we all know, Trump was acquitted by the Senate and remained in office.

Here we are, two years later, experiencing an embarrassing déjà vu as the House gets ready to start President Trump’s impeachment trial 2.0 with about as much of a chance for success as the first time. On January 11, 2021, House Resolution 24 proposed the impeachment of President Trump on the basis that he incited insurrection. The critical difference this time around – Donald Trump is no longer the president.

First, a basic review of impeachment. Impeachment is an important tenet of our system of checks and balances, which is found in Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The House has the sole power of impeachment, but the Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments and actually remove individuals from office. Two-thirds of the Senate must agree in order for removal to take place. In light of the fact that 45 Senators have vowed not to vote in favor of impeachment, this whole process is DOA and a complete waste of time. By the way, a former president has never, in the history of our nation, been impeached.

So why are Democrats, and a few Republicans, so insistent on wasting their most critical first 100 days of a new Congress trying to impeach a former president? The short and most probable answer – they are afraid of you.

A president who is impeached is barred from ever running for public office again, and as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) expressed last month, that is their exact intent. The Biden Administration and Democrats on the Hill know that the “blue wave” was a myth. Seventy-four million Americans voted for Donald Trump, and while Biden, Harris, and the Dems talk a big talk, they’re scared it could happen again. If they were confident that their policies are truly better and their administration had more support among the American populace, they wouldn’t have to worry about Trump running again. He would just lose, right?

In fear, they are trying to bypass you, the people, by illegitimately and unconstitutionally removing someone from the possibility of public office. They do not trust you and are desperate to control the outcome of our future elections.

They might have sent Trump to the Sunshine State, but half of America voted for Donald Trump because they love this country, respect the Constitution, and stand on their convictions. They aren’t going anywhere. There is no concern that this impeachment trial will result in anything except a colossal waste of time, but it should make us ask why? Here the Democrats are with the White House, the House, and the Senate, and they’re playing defense and a bad one at that.

Why are they willing to waste their time and our money? Could it be that they are scared? I think so. They’re scared of Donald Trump and you.

By Annabelle Rutledge, National Director, Young Women for America

Register! Big Tech and Censorship Webinar

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Increasingly, we have witnessed open censorship of ideas, anti-conservative and anti-Christian bias, privacy violations, and many more abuses. How can we, as Christian conservatives, stay involved on these platforms? How do we ensure we have a place in the marketplace of ideas?

Young Women for America is hosting an online webinar to discuss all things Big Tech and Censorship to answer the questions above and more. Guest speaker for this timely webinar will be Rachel Bovard, Senior Director of Policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute and Senior Adviser to the Internet Accountability Project. Ms. Bovard submitted testimony on the threat of Big Tech which was presented before the House Judiciary Antitrust subcommittee in October 2020. She has a wealth of knowledge to share on this topic and will be able to answer the questions above and so many more!

Event Details:
Date: Tuesday, February 9
Time: 5:30 p.m. EST [4:30 p.m. Central; 3:30 p.m. Mountain; 2:30 p.m. Pacific] Register here to receive the webinar link.

Why Join Young Women for America?

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Why Join Young Women for America?
A Community for Politically Conservative, Christian Women in College

“The Harvard of Christian schools” —that’s Wheaton College. I chose to attend Wheaton College for many reasons, mainly because I felt called by the Lord. It is known as an academically challenging institution that prioritizes students’ faith development. From school chapels, to all school communions, to prayer in class, Wheaton clearly demonstrates its commitment to growing students intellectually and spiritually.

Even in 2021, Wheaton was named one of the most conservatives schools in the country by the Princeton Review and Niche. As someone who was interested in the political realm, I took note of that. In comparison to other colleges, Wheaton is relatively conservative. Truth be told, dancing in public just became permitted in 2003. The campus is dry. Wheaton does not have fraternities and sororities, but we find our ways to have fun.

In comparison to other secular schools, Wheaton is in fact pretty politically conservative as well, although not to the extent I expected. I have learned that even at conservative colleges, it is important for politically active, Christian, conservative women to find and support one another. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to begin a Young Women for America (YWA) chapter at Wheaton. Young Women for America seeks to educate young female leaders on Biblical and conservative issues, equipping them to then educate their peers while surrounding themselves with a community of women who share their core beliefs.

Although I identified as more politically conservative than politically progressive, I was concerned that I would not be around people with differing perspectives. I soon realized I was wrong. Whether it was politically or theologically, people across the campus shared varying stances on political issues. Even though we were brothers and sisters in Christ, we disagreed on how to approach policy. From discussions on economic systems to abortion rights, it became clear that students held a wide range of perspectives.

As I began my freshman year, I started realizing that I was one of the more politically conservative people on campus. It seemed like most of the politically engaged students tended to be more left leaning. One of my closest friends at Wheaton, for example, is pro-choice, and she is anything but alone in her thinking. In all honesty, I was surprised by how many people at Wheaton favored more liberal stances on social issues.
I expected a few people who favored pro-choice policy but did not realize their presence would be as popular as it turned out to be.

As I entered into my sophomore year, it became increasingly clear that the conservative voice on campus was relatively quiet. Whether it was faculty, students, or staff, I started to question who I could go to and discuss politics. I was wrestling with these issues. “How can I honor God politically?” “Have I been thinking about things incorrectly my entire life?” “How can so many people follow God and support abortion rights?” I was and still am in need of guidance; I am only 21.

However, I found it difficult to find support and encouragement when approaching these topics. I found it difficult to be transparent about my political views, because the conservative perspective in classes frankly seemed to be less popular among students. I felt like I had a hard time articulating my thoughts in one of my classes in particular because I did not want to be cast as insensitive or non-empathetic. In all candor, I questioned where the other politically conservative people were at Wheaton. Maybe they just are not as politically involved? Maybe they also feel isolated in their thinking? Have they already found their community of politically like-minded people?

Yes, I wanted to hear other perspectives, but I also wanted to grow in my own values and beliefs. For any person, it is important to have a community of people who support you in your beliefs. On college campuses across the country, conservative voices are lacking. Many young women, especially, feel disheartened by their inability to find people who view life through a similar ideological lens. It can be pretty discouraging to consistently face push back for possessing unpopular opinions. Young Women for America seeks to create a community for like-minded women to engage and depend on one another. There is something special and empowering about a group designed especially for Christian women. Not only does Young Women for America seek to foster members’ knowledge of political issues, but to also grow their faith. This is not simply a political group or a ministry, but a way to incorporate the two. It is unique to have a set community for young women who share the same faith which then informs their political ideology.

This marriage of Christianity and conservative principles is one of the reasons I wanted to begin a Young Women for America chapter at Wheaton. It was clear that the women’s voices on campus needed to be heard. I have found that there are many women who tend to be more conservative but are concerned about how to articulate their beliefs. That is why groups like YWA are so necessary.
Politically conservative women should be equipped to engage with those who think differently than them. Whether that be learning about special topics or hosting speakers, we need to foster and grow in our knowledge on how to have conversations with those who think differently.

YWA focuses on seven issues particularly, approaching them all from a Biblical perspective. The hope is that we can affect change in our colleges, communities, and beyond by educating, advocating, and praying for these principles. With colleges becoming more politically progressive, it is crucial that politically conservative women are able to find their voices. And YWA helps in that effort.
When it comes to political issues, it is important that we utilize research and arguments from a Biblical foundation as well. We should have an active voice that is not silent, even if society claims that being socially progressive is morally right.
In order to better represent the conservative voice, we have to surround ourselves with those who will help us engage with those who are more hesitant to hear our perspective. With an edifying community, we can grow in our ability to communicate our views and amplify our voices.

Ultimately, Young Women for American offers a place for young women to learn, support, and pray for the country and greater world.

By Hayden Sledge, YWA Chapter President at Wheaton College 

The Hyde Amendment and Human Life

By | Hyde Amendment, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Today, the House held an appropriations subcommittee hearing titled “The Impact on Women Seeking an Abortion but are Denied Because of an Inability to Pay.” Calling it what it is, a hearing dedicated to the elimination of the Hyde Amendment, would not be as well received.     

By way of background, the Hyde Amendment is a critical pro-life measure introduced by Congressman Henry Hyde (R-Illinois) in 1976 as a rider to the HHS appropriations billIt prohibits Medicaid, a federal and state assistance program based on an individual’s income, from contributing money to pay for women’s elective abortions. The Hyde Amendment has always, and continues, to maintain exceptions for instances of life endangerment, rape, and incest. For 44 years, Democrat legislators have worked to undermine and do away with the Hyde Amendment, yet it has remained a rider on the appropriation bill since that year as well as many other pieces of legislation throughout its nearly half a century existence.  

Bottom line: the Hyde Amendment does not prohibit abortion outright. It seeks only to ensure that taxpayer dollars cannot be used to facilitate abortion procedures. In doing so, it has encouraged an ethic life throughout its duration with more women choosing to give birth.  

Those without proper understanding of the Hyde Amendment’s history and purpose might walk away from today’s virtual hearing believing that the only way to save black American women is to get rid of the Hyde Amendment. Nothing could be further from the truth.  

Today’s hearing featured four witnesses, Dr. Herminia Palacio, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, Dr. Jamila Perritt, President and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health, Ms. Amanda Beatriz Williams, Executive Director of the Lilith Fund, and finally, the sole pro-life voice in the midst, Ms. Christina Bennett, Communications Director of the Family Institute of Connecticut.  

There are so many things that could be said about the Hyde Amendment and the abortion industry but the conversation in the hearing focused on two principal issues. The first witness spoke about how the Hyde Amendment disproportionately “targets” minority women calling it a “racist policy.” The next focused on the point that abortion is healthcare and as such should not be singled out or have additional burdens placed upon it.   

First, talking about racist policies in relation to abortion necessitates a discussion about the origin of the abortion industry in this nation. The modern abortion industry in America can be traced back to Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and a radical advocate of racial eugenics. Sanger was outspoken in her distaste for black Americans, unapologetically affiliated herself with the Ku Klux Klan, and wrote openly about the need for sterilization of the “unfit.” Today, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion facilitator, targets minority neighborhoods with 79% of their clinics located within walking distance of Black or Hispanic communities. This is no accident. Abortion is the leading cause of death for black Americans, more than all other causes combined including cancer, violent crimes, AIDS, and accidents. Black women make up just 14% of the childbearing population but obtain 36.2% of reported abortions. These statistics are heartbreaking, and it is baffling that they are not an impetus for change and uproar within the black community.  

Second, it is almost laughable to have to address the statement “abortion is healthcare.” Healthcare is to maintain or restore physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Abortion does none of these things. Abortion takes a life. Post abortive women are 81% more likely to experience mental health struggles such as anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, and marijuana abuse. Women who have had an abortion are 155% more likely to commit suicide. Grief, sadness, guilt, anger, anxiety, helplessness, and feeling isolated are drastically higher in women and men dealing with the ramifications of choosing abortion.  

Additionally, not even abortion advocates believe that abortion is equal to healthcare. If they did, they would have no problem ensuring that abortion facilities are up to par with health codes and guidelines for all medical procedures. In both Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt and June Medical Services v. Russo the abortion lobby fought vehemently against health and safety standards for women obtaining abortion procedures. In both cases, the Supreme Court turned its back on protecting life and protecting women.  

Christina Bennett, the only voice today that spoke up on behalf of women and children alike, shared about her brave mother who chose life in the face of extreme pressure to choose abortionHer mother’s abortion was paid for, and the abortionist was vehement that she go through with it, but she chose life. As a black woman, she spoke into the issue at hand when she noted that “repealing Hyde would lead to an increase in abortion in black communities.”  

 The whole hearing, from the title to the talking points, was sterile in nature, detached from the reality of what was being discussed. The sanctity of human life. The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimatethe Hyde Amendment has saved roughly 60,000 lives each year which adds up to 2.4 million lives saved since 1976. Witnesses and house members alike can try to sideline the reality – that they are discussing living, breathing human children – with talk about racial inequity, poverty levels, and medical billing. Do not allow yourself to be distracted. As Christina Bennett said in her statement, “it is not racist to protect black lives.” 

Read the letter CWA’s CEO and President, Penny Nance, sent to the House Subcommittee.