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Jaime Ballew

The Centennial Celebration of Women’s Suffrage

By | Feminist / Women's Issues, News and Events | No Comments

When the Founding Fathers gathered for the Continental Congress to draft a new Constitution, future first lady Abigail Adams wrote to her husband John Adams and asked that he “remember the ladies”.[i] Women have been fighting for equal say in the political process since the founding of our nation, and 100 years ago this week, women made a huge stride in achieving that equality.

June 4, 2019 marked the 100-year anniversary of the Senate’s passage of the 19th Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote. The amendment, having been passed by the House of Representatives two weeks earlier, then headed to the states for ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the last state to ratify the 19th Amendment, and it was declared officially ratified on August 26, 1920. [ii]

On Tuesday, to honor and commemorate this centennial anniversary, the Senate passed S.Res.212 – A resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment, providing for women’s suffrage, to the Constitution of the United States, introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and cosponsored by every female senator. The Senate also passed S. 1235, the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. This bill, introduced by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), honors the legacy of suffragists with a commemorative coin. All Senators donned yellow roses, a symbol of the women’s suffrage movement. CWA CEO and President, Penny Nance, as a member of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, joined other commission members in the Senate gallery to observe and celebrate this anniversary.

The battle for women’s suffrage was long-fought and officially began 72 years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Although women participated in the political process, advocated for their beliefs, and were crucial to many movements, such as the abolition of slavery, they were denied the ability to participate in a civic duty so many of us take for granted. Because of the relentless work of the suffragettes, over 71 million[iii] women are now registered vote in the U.S. Unfortunately, that means only 68.5% of the female population is registered to vote. If you are not currently registered to vote, or if you are not sure if you are, please register to vote today in honor of the women who fought so hard for this privilege.

[i] https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/abigail-adams-asks-her-husband-to-remember-the-ladies

[ii]https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/People/Women/Nineteenth_Amendment_Vertical_Timeline.htm

[iii] https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/voting-and-registration/p20-583.html

Abortion at 20 Weeks Takes the Senate Stage

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

Since Roe v. Wade, technology has changed our understanding of preborn life, and we need to face the truth on this issue: unborn children do feel pain. Science and medicine have no issue acknowledging this. While some preborn children are administered anesthesia during necessary surgery in utero, others have their limbs ripped from their bodies in a late-term dismemberment abortion with no anesthesia or regard for suffering. Read More

House Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Disappoints, Fails to Protect Women

By | Blog, Defense of Family, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

This week, the House passed a reauthorization bill of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), but this bill falls short and fails to accomplish its namesake goalFrom its inception, the purpose of VAWA has been to protect, support, and seek justice for women who have suffered assault or abuse. CWALAC fully supports that mission. The goal of the current VAWA reauthorization efforts should advance these objectives, not compromise them. The reauthorization must address misguided efforts to go beyond the scope of VAWA, which represent a fundamental threat to the privacy and safety of women and girls. Unfortunately, the House-passed version of VAWA ignores and even exacerbates the current problems with the VAWA law  Read More

Has Your Representative Signed the Discharge Petition?

By | Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) filed a discharge petition on H.R. 962, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. The Senate has voted on this bill, but Speaker Pelosi refuses to bring it to the House floor for a vote, even though House republicans have publicly asked almost thirty times.

A discharge petition is a special tool that can be used to get a bill on the floor for a vote, even if the Speaker, who controls the bills that are voted on and the House floor schedule, does not want a vote. A discharge petition needs 218 signatures from representatives, a majority of the House. Members are now able to sign this petition demanding a vote to protect babies born alive after failed abortions.

As of May 31, 2019, the following representatives HAVE signed the discharge petition to take up H.R. 962, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. If you do not see your representative listed, please click here to contact them and ask them to sign the discharge petition!

 

                         200                                            18

        SIGNATURES TO DATE             SIGNATURES NEEDED

 

Title

First Name

Last Name

Party

State-District

Rep.

Ralph Lee

Abraham

R

LA-05

Rep.

Robert

Aderholt

R

AL-04

Rep.

Rick

Allen

R

GA-12

Rep.

Justin

Amash

R

MI-03

Rep.

Mark

Amodei

R

NV-02

Rep.

Kelly

Armstrong

R

ND-At Large

Rep.

Jodey

Arrington

R

TX-19

Rep.

Brian

Babin

R

TX-36

Rep.

Don

Bacon

R

NE-02

Rep.

James

Baird

R

IN-04

Rep.

Troy

Balderson

R

OH-12

Rep.

Jim

Banks

R

IN-03

Rep.

Andy

Barr

R

KY-06

Rep.

Jack

Bergman

R

MI-01

Rep.

Andy

Biggs

R

AZ-05

Rep.

Gus

Bilirakis

R

FL-12

Rep.

Rob

Bishop

R

UT-01

Rep.

Mike

Bost

R

IL-12

Rep.

Kevin

Brady

R

TX-08

Rep.

Mo

Brooks

R

AL-05

Rep.

Susan

Brooks

R

IN-05

Rep.

Vern

Buchanan

R

FL-16

Rep.

Ken

Buck

R

CO-04

Rep.

Larry

Bucshon

R

IN-08

Rep.

Ted

Budd

R

NC-13

Rep.

Tim

Burchett

R

TN-02

Rep.

Michael

Burgess

R

TX-26

Rep.

Bradley

Byrne

R

AL-01

Rep.

Ken

Calvert

R

CA-42

Rep.

Earl

Carter

R

GA-01

Rep.

John

Carter

R

TX-31

Rep.

Steve

Chabot

R

OH-01

Rep.

Liz

Cheney

R

WY-At Large

Rep.

Ben

Cline

R

VA-06

Rep.

Michael

Cloud

R

TX-27

Rep.

Tom

Cole

R

OK-04

Rep.

Chris

Collins

R

NY-27

Rep.

Doug

Collins

R

GA-09

Rep.

James

Comer

R

KY-01

Rep.

K.

Conaway

R

TX-11

Rep.

Paul

Cook

R

CA-08

Rep.

Eric

Crawford

R

AR-01

Rep.

Dan

Crenshaw

R

TX-02

Rep.

John

Curtis

R

UT-03

Rep.

Warren

Davidson

R

OH-08

Rep.

Rodney

Davis

R

IL-13

Rep.

Scott

DesJarlais

R

TN-04

Rep.

Mario

Diaz-Balart

R

FL-25

Rep.

Sean

Duffy

R

WI-07

Rep.

Jeff

Duncan

R

SC-03

Rep.

Neal

Dunn

R

FL-02

Rep.

Tom

Emmer

R

MN-06

Rep.

Ron

Estes

R

KS-04

Rep.

A.

Ferguson IV

R

GA-03

Rep.

Brian

Fitzpatrick

R

PA-01

Rep.

Charles

Fleischmann

R

TN-03

Rep.

Bill

Flores

R

TX-17

Rep.

Jeff

Fortenberry

R

NE-01

Rep.

Virginia

Foxx

R

NC-05

Rep.

Russ

Fulcher

R

ID-01

Rep.

Matt

Gaetz

R

FL-01

Rep.

Mike

Gallagher

R

WI-08

Rep.

Greg

Gianforte

R

MT-At Large

Rep.

Bob

Gibbs

R

OH-07

Rep.

Louie

Gohmert

R

TX-01

Rep.

Anthony

Gonzalez

R

OH-16

Rep.

Lance

Gooden

R

TX-05

Rep.

Paul

Gosar

R

AZ-04

Rep.

Kay

Granger

R

TX-12

Rep.

Garret

Graves

R

LA-06

Rep.

Tom

Graves

R

GA-14

Rep.

Sam

Graves

R

MO-06

Rep.

Mark

Green

R

TN-07

Rep.

H.

Griffith

R

VA-09

Rep.

Glenn

Grothman

R

WI-06

Rep.

Michael

Guest

R

MS-03

Rep.

Brett

Guthrie

R

KY-02

Rep.

Jim

Hagedorn

R

MN-01

Rep.

Andy

Harris

R

MD-01

Rep.

Vicky

Hartzler

R

MO-04

Rep.

Kevin

Hern

R

OK-01

Rep.

Jaime

Herrera Beutler

R

WA-03

Rep.

Jody

Hice

R

GA-10

Rep.

Clay

Higgins

R

LA-03

Rep.

J.

Hill

R

AR-02

Rep.

George

Holding

R

NC-02

Rep.

Trey

Hollingsworth

R

IN-09

Rep.

Richard

Hudson

R

NC-08

Rep.

Bill

Huizenga

R

MI-02

Rep.

Duncan

Hunter

R

CA-50

Rep.

Will

Hurd

R

TX-23

Rep.

Bill

Johnson

R

OH-06

Rep.

Dusty

Johnson

R

SD-At Large

Rep.

Mike

Johnson

R

LA-04

Rep.

Jim

Jordan

R

OH-04

Rep.

David

Joyce

R

OH-14

Rep.

John

Joyce

R

PA-13

Rep.

John

Katko

R

NY-24

Rep.

Mike

Kelly

R

PA-16

Rep.

Trent

Kelly

R

MS-01

Rep.

Steve

King

R

IA-04

Rep.

Peter T.

King

R

NY-02

Rep.

Adam

Kinzinger

R

IL-16

Rep.

David

Kustoff

R

TN-08

Rep.

Darin

LaHood

R

IL-18

Rep.

Doug

LaMalfa

R

CA-01

Rep.

Doug

Lamborn

R

CO-05

Rep.

Robert

Latta

R

OH-05

Rep.

Debbie

Lesko

R

AZ-08

Rep.

Daniel

Lipinski

D

IL-03

Rep.

Billy

Long

R

MO-07

Rep.

Barry

Loudermilk

R

GA-11

Rep.

Frank

Lucas

R

OK-03

Rep.

Blaine

Luetkemeyer

R

MO-03

Rep.

Kenny

Marchant

R

TX-24

Rep.

Roger

Marshall

R

KS-01

Rep.

Thomas

Massie

R

KY-04

Rep.

Brian

Mast

R

FL-18

Rep.

Ben

McAdams

D

UT-04

Rep.

Kevin

McCarthy

R

CA-23

Rep.

Michael

McCaul

R

TX-10

Rep.

Tom

McClintock

R

CA-04

Rep.

Patrick

McHenry

R

NC-10

Rep.

David

McKinley

R

WV-01

Rep.

Mark

Meadows

R

NC-11

Rep.

Daniel

Meuser

R

PA-09

Rep.

Carol

Miller

R

WV-03

Rep.

Paul

Mitchell

R

MI-10

Rep.

John

Moolenaar

R

MI-04

Rep.

Alexander

Mooney

R

WV-02

Rep.

Markwayne

Mullin

R

OK-02

Rep.

Dan

Newhouse

R

WA-04

Rep.

Ralph

Norman

R

SC-05

Rep.

Devin

Nunes

R

CA-22

Rep.

Pete

Olson

R

TX-22

Rep.

Steven

Palazzo

R

MS-04

Rep.

Gary

Palmer

R

AL-06

Rep.

Greg

Pence

R

IN-06

Rep.

Scott

Perry

R

PA-10

Rep.

Collin C.

Peterson

D

MN-07

Rep.

Bill

Posey

R

FL-08

Rep.

John

Ratcliffe

R

TX-04

Rep.

Tom

Reed

R

NY-23

Rep.

Guy

Reschenthaler

R

PA-14

Rep.

Tom

Rice

R

SC-07

Rep.

Denver

Riggleman

R

VA-05

Rep.

Martha

Roby

R

AL-02

Rep.

Cathy

Rodgers

R

WA-05

Rep.

David

Roe

R

TN-01

Rep.

Harold

Rogers

R

KY-05

Rep.

Mike

Rogers

R

AL-03

Rep.

Francis

Rooney

R

FL-19

Rep.

John

Rose

R

TN-06

Rep.

David

Rouzer

R

NC-07

Rep.

Chip

Roy

R

TX-21

Rep.

John H.

Rutherford

R

FL-04

Rep.

Steve

Scalise

R

LA-01

Rep.

David

Schweikert

R

AZ-06

Rep.

Austin

Scott

R

GA-08

Rep.

F.

Sensenbrenner, Jr.

R

WI-05

Rep.

John

Shimkus

R

IL-15

Rep.

Michael

Simpson

R

ID-02

Rep.

Adrian

Smith

R

NE-03

Rep.

Christopher

Smith

R

NJ-04

Rep.

Jason

Smith

R

MO-08

Rep.

Lloyd

Smucker

R

PA-11

Rep.

Ross

Spano

R

FL-15

Rep.

Pete

Stauber

R

MN-08

Rep.

Elise

Stefanik

R

NY-21

Rep.

Bryan

Steil

R

WI-01

Rep.

W.

Steube

R

FL-17

Rep.

Chris

Stewart

R

UT-02

Rep.

Steve

Stivers

R

OH-15

Rep.

Van

Taylor

R

TX-03

Rep.

Glenn

Thompson

R

PA-15

Rep.

Mac

Thornberry

R

TX-13

Rep.

William

Timmons IV

R

SC-04

Rep.

Scott

Tipton

R

CO-03

Rep.

Michael

Turner

R

OH-10

Rep.

Fred

Upton

R

MI-06

Rep.

Ann

Wagner

R

MO-02

Rep.

Tim

Walberg

R

MI-07

Rep.

Greg

Walden

R

OR-02

Rep.

Mark

Walker

R

NC-06

Rep.

Jackie

Walorski

R

IN-02

Rep.

Michael

Waltz

R

FL-06

Rep.

Steven

Watkins, Jr.

R

KS-02

Rep.

Randy

Weber, Sr.

R

TX-14

Rep.

Daniel

Webster

R

FL-11

Rep.

Brad

Wenstrup

R

OH-02

Rep.

Bruce

Westerman

R

AR-04

Rep.

Roger

Williams

R

TX-25

Rep.

Joe

Wilson

R

SC-02

Rep.

Robert

Wittman

R

VA-01

Rep.

Steve

Womack

R

AR-03

Rep.

Rob

Woodall

R

GA-07

Rep.

Ron

Wright

R

TX-06

Rep.

Ted

Yoho

R

FL-03

Rep.

Don

Young

R

AK-At Large

Rep.

Lee

Zeldin

R

NY-01

Senate Dems Deny the Facts About the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

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

On Monday, February 25, the U.S. Senate failed to advance S. 311, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska). The bill needed 60 votes and failed by a vote of 53-44, with three senators not voting: Sens. Cramer (R-North Dakota), Scott (R-South Carolina), and Murkowski (R-Alaska). Sens. Cramer and Scott’s offices informed CWA they were unable to attend the vote due to weather delays. They are both original cosponsors of the bill and would have voted “yes. Sen. Tim Scott spoke at length on the Senate floor the day after the vote, declaring: “This is common sense; this is human decency. This is not an issue of being pro-life or pro-choice. This is being pro-child.” For information on how your senator voted, click here. 

Democrat Sens. Manchin (D-West Virginia), Jones (D-Alabama), and Casey (D-Pennsylvania) joined the 53vote majority, while every other Senate Democrat opposed Born Alive. Their excuses for defending infanticide on the Senate floor were straight from the talking points of Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Many of them claimed this does not happen. Wrong. Documented statistics by the Center for Disease Control say otherwise. Only six states require reporting cases of infants born alive after an attempted abortion, so we don’t know just how frequently this happens, but there is no question that it does. Abortion survivors like Melissa Ohden and Gianna Jessen have testified before Congress detailing their personal stories and asking for protections for babies who survive abortion 

Democrats also claimed the bill is unnecessary, because killing a child born alive is already illegal. While Congress did pass, and President George W. Bush signed into law, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act in 2002, it only defined a “person,” “human being,” “child,” or “individual” as including every infant born alive for the purposes of federal law. But the law did not contain any penalty provisions or requirements. This is the issue the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act seeks to correct. It would give law enforcement the legal tools to bring criminal penalties against a health care professional who fails to provide care for a child who is born alive. Some states do impose penalties, but New York repealed their born alive law, and Vermont is close to doing so. Federal law must address this. 

Here are the facts about the Born Alive Act: It is NOT about private medical decisions between woman and her doctor and does not change abortion laws. It is not about first, second, or thirdtrimester abortions; it is about infanticide. The bill only addresses failed abortions and would not substitute Congress’ judgment for standard medical practice in heartbreaking cases when a child is born but is not viable. It mandates the same degree of care be granted to children who survive abortions that would be given to a child born in other circumstances at the same gestational age, including hospitalizationIt also shields birth mothers from prosecution and grants them the right to take civil action against health care professional who fails to provide this care.   

The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act is not an extreme “anti-choice” bill. 82% of Americans oppose removing medical care for a viable child after birth, including 77% of pro-choice Americans. Undeniably, Americans widely support this bill. It is now up to the House to correct the failure of the Senate. Speaker Pelosi is standing in the way by denying daily requests to bring this bill to the House floor.  Next month, House Republicans will attempt to force the bill on the floor for a vote through a discharge petition. Please call your congressman today and ask him/her to cosponsor H.R. 962, the House version of S. 311, and sign the discharge petition when it is ready for consideration.  

 

Legislative Update: House GOP Fights for Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

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

Last Thursday, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska) expressed his disgust with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s (D) comments describing how a child born alive after a botched abortion would be allowed to die. Sen. Sasse announced his intent to offer his bill, the BornAlive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, via Rule XIV. This procedural measure in the Senate is an expedited way to move a bill, but it requires unanimous consent. The Born-Alive bill protects infants who are born alive after an attempted abortion. The bill requires appropriate medical care for any child who survives an attempted abortion, as well as establishing criminal penalties for health-care practitioners who violate this requirement.

This legislation does not impose restrictions on abortion and is not a way to prosecute women who have abortions; but it is a protection of human dignity and a reflection on our basic humanity. The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act guarantees that if a child of an attempted abortion is born alive, he or she will receive the medical care that would otherwise occur if the child was born at that gestation under normal circumstances. This bill is not even about abortion; it’s about protecting children from infanticide.

Senator Murray (D-Washington) objected to the unanimous consent request and said caring for infants born alive after an abortion was already law. Congress did pass a weak born-alive bill via unanimous consent in 2002, but this law does not have any enforcement mechanism behind it.  That is what Sen. Sasse’s bill would provide. The comments made by Gov. Northam demonstrate there is great need for this existing law to be strengthened. If a governor who served as a pediatrician for decades has no problem detailing how to break the law and allow a newborn child to die after a botched abortion, then the penalties for doctors who do this are not high enough. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated there will be a vote on Born Alive in the coming weeks, so this is not totally dead in the Senate.

During the State of the Union, President Trump expressed passionate concern over this issue and called on Congress to protect innocent life. Representative Ann Wagner (R-Missouri) introduced this bill in the House this week. Because Speaker Pelosi and her House majority are hostile to this bill, Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) announced that, after 30 legislative days, he will file a discharge petition that would force a vote if it is signed by a majority of House members (218). During these 30 legislative days, different Members of Congress will be speaking in support of Born Alive on the House floor and will be asking for unanimous consent for a vote on born alive every day for 30 legislative days until this discharge petition is ripe and can be considered. Will democrats keep objecting?

Please call your representative today and ask him/her to sign Whip Scalise’s discharge petition for H.R. 962, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

 

 

 

The Inequality of the “Equality Act”

By | Blog, News and Events | No Comments

On Monday the Heritage Foundation hosted a panel discussion titled, “The Inequality of the Equality Act: Concerns from the Left” where four self-described liberal feminists, including an openly gay woman and one man who formerly identified as transgender, detailed their concerns over transgender activism.  The left is pushing special, elevated, civil rights-type protections for gender identity, but women are becoming the real losers.

Soon, House Democrats are expected to reintroduce the Equality Act and likely expedite its passage. Although the bill may not see Senate action, the deceptively named “Equality Act” could be a difficult political hurdle for some, and details just how far the left will try to push the debate. The Equality Act seeks to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the immutable protected classes outlined in the Civil Rights Act. In addition to very legitimate religious liberty concerns, the Equality Act would directly harm women and girls by compromising sex-segregated spaces and placing women’s privacy and safety in jeopardy.

The left is openly shutting down anyone who dares to question the transgender movement and has no problem eating their own. One of the panelists, Julia Beck, a writer who is a producer at Women’s Liberation Radio News who is openly lesbian, testified how she was removed from Baltimore’s LGBTQ Commission for “using male pronouns to talk about a convicted male rapist who identifies as transgender and prefers female pronouns.” They referred to her speech as violent.

One of the other panelists, Kara Dansky, a board member of the self-described “radical feminist” group the Women’s Liberation Front, pointed out how difficult it is to even define the term “gender identity” without using circular reasoning or gender stereotypes. Gender identity, according to the left, is fluid and is defined as the gender you identify as or as a man wearing dresses or participating in stereotypical female activities. As we know, a woman’s choice to dress a certain way does not determine whether or not she is a woman, sex is an objective scientific, biological fact. The left is so adamant on destroying all gender stereotypes, yet they are still compelled to use them to define gender identity. This is a regressive policy.

In Alaska we have already seen women’s rights trumped by ordinances requiring transgender accommodation. In Downtown Hope Center v. Municipality of Anchorage, a homeless shelter, serving women who have suffered rape, physical abuse, and domestic violence, is being accused of turning away a transgender woman.  Women staying at the shelter said, “If you allow biological men to sleep right next to us at night, to disrobe and change right next to us at night, we’ll brave the cold.[1]” This clearly undermines protections for women who have escaped abusive, violent situations and forces them into an uncomfortable, vulnerable position in a place that should be safe.

In the words of these feminists, the Equality Act would erase women, making the unique biological character of being female become meaningless.  Sharing similar concerns, Concerned Women for America is joining efforts to ensure women are not erased.

[1]https://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Transgender-woman-at-center-of-Downtown-Soup-Kitchen-lawsuit-speaks-out-504529741.html

California and New York Reach New Lows as Abortion Promoters

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

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Trump Administration has repeatedly stated that conscience rights are a priority, and it has taken strides to do just that. HHS has issued several regulations aimed at conscience protection in contraception, insurance plans, Title X grant funding, and strengthening existing conscience laws. A year ago, HHS created the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division. This is the first time a federal office for civil rights has established a separate division “dedicated to ensuring compliance with and enforcement of laws that protect conscience and free exercise of religion in healthcare and human services[1].”

Last Friday, the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division of HHS notified the State of California that the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency) Act violates the federal pro-life Coates-Snowe and Weldon Amendments. This is the first time any state has been found in violation of these amendments which protect the conscience rights of healthcare entities and healthcare workers from performing, participating, advertising, or referring for abortions.

In 2016, California enacted the FACT Actwhich forced all healthcare providers in the state, including pro-life pregnancy care centers, to advertise and refer for abortion. A group of pro-life pregnancy centers sued.  In June the U.S. Supreme Court, in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, 138 S. Ct. 2361 (2018) (“NIFLA”) held that the FACT Act was unconstitutional as compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment. Ever since the FACT Act was introduced, CWA and other pro-religious liberty and pro-life groups have been arguing that this Act is also a clear violation of federal laws protecting conscience rights.

Although California is prohibited from enforcing the FACT Act because of the Supreme Court ruling, being found in violation of federal conscience laws by HHS is still significant. This not only tells California they cannot shove aside the conscience rights of those who are pro-life, but it also puts other states on notice and at a pertinent time.

Just this week, New York enacted a law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that codified a woman’s “right” to an abortion, removed abortion from New York’s criminal code, and allows women to have abortions after24 weeks when “there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health.” Not only is this unbelievably horrible, but New York already has been cited for serious conscience concerns and violations for health care workers opposed to an abortion.

New York’s radical law is not about protecting abortion rights; it’s about aggressively promoting abortion, and Planned Parenthood couldn’t be more ecstatic. It is also far out of the mainstream American view on abortion. The New York Legislature missed the memo that 75% of Americanssupport significant abortion restrictions and do not support abortion after the first trimester. Although Planned Parenthood and NARAL were in the New York Senate chamber cheering for a law that can’t get much closer than legalizing infanticide outright, we know science and truth are on the side of life.

 

[1]https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2019/01/18/trump-administration-actions-to-protect-life-and-conscience.html

CWA Engaged to End Unethical Fetal Tissue Research

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Concerned Women for America is actively engaged in the effort to end unethical fetal tissue research. We are working with Congress to stop funding of this gruesome practice and are asking the Trump Administration to change policy. Some fetal tissue contracts were made by the Obama Administration and cannot be rescinded, but the Trump Administration can decline to renew them.

In September the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) for fetal tissue use in select research. Aside from the unethical nature of this research, taxpayer dollars should not be funding any sort of contract between the U.S. Government and ABR because ABR is still under federal investigation for illegal profiting from the sale of aborted fetal tissue.  After backlash from the pro-life community, the FDA announced a termination of the ABR contract, and Health and Human Services (HHS) promised an internal review of fetal tissue research policies.

Last week stemming from a report that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding fetal tissue research to the tune of $103 million annually, 74 Members of Congress, led by pro-life champions Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) and Vicki Hartzler (R-Missouri), sent a letter to HHS Secretary Azar asking for a moratorium on fetal tissue research in exchange for ethical research alternatives that, unlike fetal tissue research, are showing promise and producing results.  It is unconscionable that NIH research uses the organs of unborn children from elective abortions at 17-24 weeks gestation.

This week a seven-year fetal tissue contract between HHS and the University of California at San Francisco expired.  Instead of the expected long-term renewal, the contract was only renewed for 90 days. While this is a big step in the right direction, a pro-life administration should not be funding unethical, anti-life research. Fetal tissue research is the scientific version of the famed Alaska “bridge to nowhere[1]” and is a waste of taxpayer money.

Fetal tissue research is not groundbreaking or cutting edge; it began in the 1920s and has yet to produce positive results. In 2001 the first NIH-funded clinical trial using fetal tissue to treat patients with Parkinson’s was described as “absolutely devastating,” “tragic, catastrophic” and “a real nightmare” as the experimental introduction of fetal tissue worsenedthe patients’ symptoms.[2]This is just one example of several clinical trials, completed in the U.S. and abroad, where fetal tissue did not produce promising results. Instead, fetal tissue intervention often proved detrimental.

These catastrophic and devastating results are not exclusive to fetal tissue, but also to the use of fetal stem cells[3]. In 2009 a young boy developed spinal tumors after being injected with fetal stem cells[4]. There are promising research avenues, such as adult stem cell therapies, the use of cord blood, and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

Science is moving away from fetal tissue experimentation because it has failed to produce any significant scientific gains. The U.S. government should be funding promising research not dead-end projects that are outmoded and unethical.

[1]https://www.heritage.org/budget-and-spending/report/the-bridge-nowhere-national-embarrassment

[2]https://s27589.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Prentice-writtentestimony-AZ-House-Judiciary-fetal-tissue-trafficking.pdf

[3]https://s27589.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Prentice-writtentestimony-AZ-House-Judiciary-fetal-tissue-trafficking.pdf

[4]http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7894486.stm

How the Republican minority House members can still have influence

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Now that (most) of the election dust has settled, members have met their new colleagues, chosen their party leadership, and everyone is in the process of preparing for next year. On January 3, the largest Freshman (new members) class since WWII will be sworn into office. About 75% of House Republicans have never been in the minority and, inversely, about 65% of House Democrats have never served in the majority.

Come January 3, the House of Representatives will be very hostile to conservative issues, especially the life issue. The last time Democrats controlled the House there were about 40 pro-life Democrats who consistently voted pro-life, now there are 2. During this last election cycle, Democrat party leaders told candidates they were not welcome in the party if they were pro-life, because, as Penny says, “abortion is their religion.”

However, there are ways that members of the minority party can have influence outside of voting “no.” A motion to recommit (MTR) with instructions returns a bill to committee and can amend, or possibly kill, legislation. The MTR is a power held exclusively by the minority and can make things uncomfortable for moderate majority members who may oppose the bill or parts of the bill based on their districts. At a bare minimum, a MTR takes up legislative time. Democrats have said they do not plan on holding votes before 1:00 p.m. or after 7:00 p.m. in order to accommodate members with families, so time allotted for votes will be precious.

Floor speeches are also great ways for the minority party to message for or against something. One-minute speeches might not seem like much, but they are televised by C-SPAN, which can have an audience of 1 million typically engaged, voting citizens at any given time. For those issues that have bipartisan support but not leadership support, a discharge petition can be used to force legislation out of committee and put it on the floor. While it requires the majority of the House (218 members) and is rarely successful, it can be used for political pressure. In 2015, a discharge petition caused a major headache for Speaker Boehner over an immigration issue. Minority members can pick apart the majority’s position in minority committee reports. These reports officially state a position counter to the majority and can be written by one or more minority members of the committee.

These are all ways to draw attention to the stark contrast of the positions on the opposite side of the aisle and can make things uncomfortable for the majority, who is usually fighting to keep their caucus together on controversial issues. But ultimately, a divided government forces us to find common ground and work together.

We do know that the Democrats are drooling over getting rid of pro-life protections, and, thankfully, the Senate will serve as a backstop to make sure we don’t lose gains on that front. While the President can veto bills with concerning language, and we are encouraging him to do so, a pro-life Senate is an added layer of security. With the net gain of 2 pro-life Senate seats, we finally have a pro-life majority in the Senate. Although Senators Collins (R-Maine) and Murkowski (R-Alaska) are Republicans, they are not pro-life and usually vote against pro-life measures. With next year’s Senate makeup, we can lose Sens. Collins and Murkowski on a life issue and still win. This will be crucial during the Appropriations (spending) process, where many of our pro-life gains have been accomplished.

While things in the next Congress will be different, there is always hope, and there is always progress to be made. Like Justice Kavanaugh said during his opening statement, “I live on the sunrise side of the mountain, not the sunset side of the mountain. I see the day that is coming, not the day that is gone. I am optimistic about the future of America …”

 

 

 

 

 

Resolution for the Little Sisters of the Poor

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Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a final rule that provided much-needed relief to employers who had religious or moral objections to birth control or certain forms of birth control. After the Affordable Care Act became law, HHS was tasked with interpreting the intentionally vague part of the law that mandated all insurance plans provide essential women’s health services. HHS, not Congress, determined that, among other things, all FDA-approved forms of birth control must be covered in employer insurance plans.

Although there were narrow exceptions to this mandate and several corporations were “grandfathered” in, the Obama Administration failed to respect the conscience rights of religious employers. This bureaucratic overreach forced companies like Hobby Lobby and religious non-profits like the Little Sisters of the Poor to fight for their religious freedom at the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s request to provide 16 of the 20 forms of birth control, excluding only abortifacients (birth control that does not simply prevent conception, but prevents implantation of an embryo, therefore resulting in the loss of a unique human life).

The Obama Administration offered several accommodations to the Little Sisters of the Poor, but missed the mark with each one. In May 2017, the Trump Administration issued an interim final rule that provided relief to the Little Sisters. These new final rules are identical to the ones proposed in 2017 and respect the religious and moral objections of employers. This rule does not prevent the government from providing these services to women who want them; it is a necessary correction to the government’s overreach.

Leg Update: The Final Countdown

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In every midterm election since 1876, with three exceptions, the President’s party has lost seats. Voter turnout is always significantly lower in midterm years than in presidential election years. Out of eligible, registered voters: 62.8% voted in 2008, 54.2% voted in 2012, and 58% voted in 2016. Meanwhile, only 40% voted in 2010 and an abysmal 37%, the lowest number in a century, in 2014[1].

Polls are fluctuating but generally show that the Democrats will take control of the House and Republicans will retain control of the Senate and maybe pick up 1-2 seats. Real Clear Politics takes the average of several polls to make their projections. As of November 1, Real Clear has projected 6 toss-up Senate seats: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and Nevada[2].

Democrats only need to pick up 23 seats in the House to take control and hand the Speaker’s gavel to Nancy Pelosi. Real Clear has categorized 15 House seats currently held by a Republican as leaning or likely Democrat, 30 as toss ups, and 43 as likely/leaning Republican. Meanwhile, only 2 seats currently held by a Democrat are categorized as likely/leaning Republican, 4 are toss ups, and 16 are likely/leaning Democrat.

I encourage you to take all of this, throw it out the window, and go vote anyway.

Back on Election Day in 2016, the New York Times projected that Hillary Clinton had a 99% chance of taking the Presidency. Pretty much no one thought Trump had any chance. As the night went on and results came in, that number got smaller and smaller, until around 3:00 a.m. when AP projected President Trump the winner.

There are an infinite number of theories as to why the polls were so wrong, and I am not here to speculate on those reasons. I am not a polling expert by any means, but the way we poll Americans has largely not changed. Most people don’t have landlines, don’t answer unknown numbers on their cell phones, and internet polls are unreliable and flawed (you can often vote more than once). Voter enthusiasm doesn’t always equate to voter turnout, this is especially true with young voters, and people who participate in polls or hold protest signs don’t necessarily show up to vote. However, angry people DO vote, and we have seen a lot of anger from the left.

The 2016 election will be analyzed for the rest of time, and unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, most people miss the point. 2016 was more than a referendum on President Obama’s policies, it was a referendum on D.C. as a whole. A very large population of the electorate felt intentionally ignored by both parties; people were tired of being promised the world and given nothing. Conservatives were tired of putting up good men only to see the left annihilate and slander them.

Now we are facing a similar situation. We know where the policies of the left will lead: government funded abortion, persecution for people of faith, , policies that deny ethical  scientific principles, disrespect for the rule of law, and mob rule. People were appalled at the behavior of the left during the Kavanaugh confirmations and it will get much, much worse if those tactics are justified. A win on Tuesday for radical leftists who are calling for incivility against their peers and fellow Americans, will do just this.

A couple of weeks ago, I laid out what we have to lose in this election. I witnessed first-hand the rage and frustration of the mob. This is not politics as we knew it five years ago, this is unhinged tyranny. So, what can we do? It’s really simple, just show up. Don’t fall for the lie that your vote doesn’t count or doesn’t matter. Last year, the control of the entire Virginia House of Delegates was determined by one vote. If everyone in your family. friend group, or church thought, “my vote doesn’t even really count; I’m just one person”, then that adds up to a lot more than one vote.

If you are able, help your neighbors and co-workers who have mobility or transportation challenges get to the polls. This Sunday encourage members from your church to vote. Ask your pastor to make an announcement reminding everyone to vote on Tuesday. We have a great resource online that details political guidelines for pastors and churches if you’re not sure what you can say. Lastly, please pray for our nation. Regardless of the results of Tuesday’s election, we have deep divisions that cannot be healed by politicians or humans, but only through God’s love and redeeming grace.

Legislative Update: Midterm Elections and What’s at Stake

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Washington is practically a ghost town with the midterms almost two weeks away. Most staff and members of Congress are on the campaign trail, except for a few members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who held hearings this week on several of President Trump’s judicial nominees. There were only four Republican senators in attendance and every Democrat member of the committee boycotted the hearings.

The biggest hurdle we will face once the election is over and Congress returns will be government funding. Before Congress left, they passed several funding bills and signed a CR (continuing resolution) for the remaining bills that keeps spending levels identical to the FY 2018 spending levels. Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water Development, the Legislative Branch, Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education spending bills for FY 2019 have been passed and signed into law. This comprises approximately 75% of government funding passed through the appropriations process. We still have several bills to go: Agriculture; Commerce, Science, Justice; Financial Services and General Government; Homeland Security; Interior; State, Foreign Operations; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. In the bills left, the most contentious issue will absolutely be the funding of the President’s wall on our southernmost border. The midterms will largely determine who fights the hardest for or against this measure.

Another measure that was delayed with the CR was the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. We are working carefully to assure the funding in this bill has much-needed accountability and actually helps the group it was intended to help: women.

Both of these issues will have to be addressed in some way during the lame duck period because funding for both will expire December 7. As stated before, the outcome of the midterms will be the biggest determinate of what happens during lame duck and the remainder of President Trump’s first term in office.

At CWA we want to make sure you are prepared for the midterms and know what’s on the ballot this year. All 435 seats of the House are up for election, one-third of the Senate, and of course, local and state races are on the ballot as well.

But what’s at stake this go-around and why should you vote? What’s really on the ballot?

There is so much that we can do with a pro-life House and Senate and so much we would have to stop with a Pelosi-led, anti-life House. We’ve seen very concerning SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) language woven into almost every bill and amendment the Democrats propose that compromises First Amendment protected freedom of religion and circumvents the Civil Rights Act. We know, based on the 2016 Democrat platform, that the democrats want to get rid of the long-standing Hyde amendment that prevents government funding from paying for abortions. The Hyde amendment continues to have support from approximately 60% of Americans. Not only this, but many of the Administration’s good policies that we have fought for, like the Mexico City policy, the proposed Title X rule that we asked for your help commenting that would eliminate Title X family planning funding for abortion providers (this is still under review by HHS by the way), government-sponsored fetal tissue research and so many other measures can be stopped or supported by Congress. Unless Congress funds, or in the case of the Hyde amendment, does not fund, these measures and programs, no amount of work the administration does can stop this. We absolutely must have a pro-life, pro-family House to back up the administration’s pro-life and pro-family policies.

If Democrats take control of the House, their first move will likely be impeaching the President. If Republicans maintain control of the House they will continue to support the President’s good policies. With a pro-life House and Senate majority, we can stop Planned Parenthood’s government funding, we can maintain protections for the unborn, we can protect religious liberty for all Americans.

Before the confirmation hearings of Justice Kavanaugh, the conservative base was not as motivated as the liberal base to show up in November. This is typical with the ebb and flow of politics; usually after one party takes control of the White House, part or all of Congress flips to the other party. However, those hearings showed us what is at stake: the rule of law. During the Kavanaugh hearings, CWA staff were threatened, screamed at, spit on (that was me … gross) and told by these women they hoped we would get raped. This last week alone, two Republican state representatives were assaulted, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) received a letter at her home with riacin, one Republican campaign staffer was assaulted by a Democrat. No one on the left is calling for this to stop. This behavior is abhorrent and must be shut down. We must return to civility; we cannot allow this violence to continue; this is not America.

Having Democrat members of Congress and Senators inciting violence against Republicans, or ANYONE, is unacceptable. Whip Scalise was shot in broad daylight a little over a year and a half ago because of rhetoric the left pushed that said “people will die if Republicans succeed.” That rhetoric hasn’t died down, it has amped up and radical leftists have doubled down on their calls for violence against conservatives.

Even with a pro-life President, there is too much at stake to allow mob rule and anti-life politicians to take over. On November 6, you are not just voting for a representative or a senator, you’re voting for the policy and direction of the nation for next two years. You’re voting for or against tax cuts and pro-family tax policies; you’re voting for or against the government paying for abortions; you’re voting for the rule of law or mob rule.

Leg Update: Sen. Judiciary Committee votes on Kavanaugh 11-10, What Now?

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During the Judiciary Committee business meeting this morning, Sen. Flake (R-Arizona) decided that a FBI investigation would be helpful “to mend the nation”. So before he voted on Kavanaugh in committee, he asked for such an investigation to be conducted.  A senator cannot make their vote contingent on anything, so this was mostly symbolic and political. Kavanaugh was reported out of committee favorably 11-10 (voted along party lines); his confirmation can now move to the Senate floor. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) very shortly after the vote echoed Flake’s call for an additional FBI investigation, essentially forcing Leader McConnell to delay the vote for said investigation.

Tomorrow at noon there was a procedural vote (motion to proceed) scheduled, but in a plot twist no one saw coming, about 7:00 p.m. Friday evening, the Senate agreed by unanimous consent request (that means no one, including democrats objected) to the motion to proceed (the one that was scheduled for tomorrow) to move to Executive Session for the consideration of Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Monday at 3:00 p.m. the Senate will convene and continue Kavanaugh’s consideration. There will be other legislation considered then as well.

The White House has now asked the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation into *existing* allegations only, and the investigation must wrap up in one week. This was the exact request from Senate Judiciary. The investigation could last two hours, or it could last all week.  There is no way to know. This is why McConnell moved forward with the motion to proceed regardless.

Chairman Grassley’s repeated remarks this week on why a FBI investigation is useless are helpful.  To summarize: it is not their job to reach conclusions or give recommendations; that is the sole job of the Senate (advice and consent); there was no federal crime committed, so they don’t have jurisdiction anyway.

After the FBI concludes their investigation, there will likely be calls for additional investigations. From day one the Democrats entire goal was to stop this with “everything they have”. There will be more calls for delay. There will very likely be more allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. The pressure on the four undecided senators will be intense (Heidi Heitkamp D-North Dakota, Joe Manchin D-West Virginia, Susan Collins R-Maine, Lisa Murkowski R-Alaska). It will all get much, much worse.  When abortion is your god and life has no value, ruining one man’s life and reputation to “save Roe” is not even an ethical question, it’s a mandate. Leader McConnell is very motivated to move forward. He knows this is important on every level. Floor debate will continue all week.  Once the FBI investigation is over, at some point next week, we will have the cloture vote (end debate), and then the final vote.

Earlier today after the Flake episode, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), one of our “gettable” democrats previously undecided, came out in opposition to Kavanaugh and intends to vote against his confirmation.

Pray for Judge Kavanaugh and please pray for Ashley Kavanaugh, too. I will never forget the look on her face yesterday. I cannot imagine having to explain to my 10 and 13 year old girls that even though half the country thinks their dad gang raped women, that is a lie made up and permeated by politicians. I would also encourage you to watch Senator Graham’s questioning of Kavanaugh yesterday if you haven’t already. It sums it up perfectly, and I found it very encouraging.

Kavanaugh Confirmation Legislative Update: What Now?

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The Kavanaugh hearings have officially come to an end after no shortage of political theater by both Senators and paid disrupters. There’s still a lot that needs to happen before he can be confirmed. The Senate Judiciary Committee must give his nomination either a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the entire Senate. This vote in the committee will be scheduled next week, but Democrats can object to a motion to proceed to a vote and delay the process.  If they do (and we fully expect that they will), the committee must wait one week before meeting again to consider the nomination. Once this time is burned, the vote can be taken, and then the committee can report the nomination to the full Senate.  Cloture can be filed the day after the committee gives their final report (cloture is a vote to end debate) and then the clock starts ticking to burn 30 hours of Senate floor debate.

It normally takes 60 votes to stop debate, but remember former Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the Senate rules in 2015 to allow for a simple majority (51) to end debate for lower court judges and cabinet nominees. When Democrats obstructed the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice for the Supreme Court in 2017, Majority Leader McConnell was forced to change the Senate rules again to lower the cloture threshold for Supreme Court nominees to a simple majority. The vote to end debate on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination will require this same simple majority. After debate is over, the final vote will occur for confirmation; this vote also requires a simple majority of Senators present to pass.

This will likely take us into the end of September, and if all goes according to plan, including a successful floor vote, it appears that Judge Kavanaugh will be Justice Kavanaugh in time for the Supreme Court’s term beginning the first Monday in October (October 1).

Title X comment period ends with thousands of comments supporting Protect Life Rule

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Thank you all so much for your participation and work submitting comments to the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the administration’s proposed Title X rule. The comment period for this rule closed on Tuesday. Just a refresher, Title X is a voluntary grant program that was enacted in the 70s to provide low income individuals with family planning services. The statute specifically says that abortion is not family planning and no funds can go toward abortion operations, but that hasn’t stopped the abortion industry from grabbing these funds and using them to prop up their abortion business. This new rule would require Title X grant recipients to detangle their abortion operations from Title X activity, better adhering to the law.

Concerned Women for America supporters were responsible for submitting thousands of comments supporting this rule; thank you!  HHS received over 200,000 comments and upon some brief preliminary investigation of our own, it appears that the majority of these comments are supportive of the rule. This was not the result we were expecting, but it is reflective of where the American people stand on taxpayer funded abortions and abortion activities. Polls continually show that about 6 in 10 Americans oppose taxpayer dollars from being used toward abortions, and that includes people who identify as pro-choice. Americans want out of the abortion business, and this proposed rule is an important step to detangle the abortion industry from government funding.

From here, HHS will review the comments and then they submit a final rule based on feedback. This will take at least a few months and then these rules will apply to future Title X grants. We hope that when grants are announced in August 2019 this rule will be implemented, and this program will no longer be used as a slush fund for the abortion industry. We do anticipate several states will sue HHS over this rule, which could delay implementation, but this rule is supported by Supreme Court precedent. In 1991 the Supreme Court upheld similar, more stringent rules, proposed by the Reagan administration in Rust v. Sullivan, and there have been no significant cases since then that would impact the precedent set by Rust.

It is unfortunate the pro-choice side had to resort to blatant lies and fear mongering in their opposition to this rule. They know that life is winning in America, and public opinion on abortion is shifting. We are a pro-life nation, and the abortion industry’s free ride on the backs of taxpayers is coming to an end.

Title X Comment Period: Now Open!

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You may remember last week the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new proposed rule governing the Title X program that has the potential to make an impact on the fight against Planned Parenthood’s government funding. Today is the first day of the 60-day comment period, and now we have a unique chance to act and voice our support.

The Title X program is a voluntary grant program that was created to educate and provide family planning services. Even though the law says that abortion is not family planning, abortion giants like Planned Parenthood have used this grant program as their own personal slush fund.

But not under the Trump Administration. HHS proposed a new rule governing Title X funds. This rule, also referred to as the Protect Life Rule, proposes regulations similar to the “Reagan rules” that were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan. These new regulations require physical and financial separation between Title X recipients and abortion providers. Under these new regulations, abortion centers cannot serve as Title X family planning centers and recipients cannot refer for abortion. Additionally, grantees must comply with state/local abuse reporting requirements. This rule also repeals the Clinton-era regulations that require abortion counseling and instead makes this optional. This new regulation does not cut Title X dollars by a cent

This Protect Life Rule draws a bright line between abortion clinics and Title X dollars. By requiring physical and financial separation of Title X dollars, we can be sure that this taxpayer money is being used to help low-income women and not prop up abortion clinics.

After the comment period is closed, HHS will review the comments and issue a final ruling. This is why the comment period is so important: HHS’ final ruling is based off of what the public says. You know Planned Parenthood is out in full force; they even started accepting comments to submit before the comment period officially opened! We know that 60% of Americans want out of the abortion business and don’t want taxpayer dollars involved in abortions, so now it’s time for us to act.

For information on submitting a comment, a sample comment (you can use ours verbatim!), or more information on what exactly this rule will do if implemented, please visit ConcernedWomen.org/ProtectLifeRule.

Legislative Update – Title X

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On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) filed new Title X grant requirements similar to rules established during the Reagan era and upheld by the Supreme Court. This new rule requires physical and financial separation between Title X recipients and abortion providers in order to draw a clear line against federal tax money going to support abortion.   It also prohibits referrals for abortion to further disentangle federal taxpayer money from the abortion industry.  

For years abortion providers have used the fungibility of Title X funds to their financial advantage. Title X funding can be used for a number of things like utilities, advertising, staff salaries, and medical supplies. Basically, these grants can free up other funds and provide infrastructure for clinics like Planned Parenthood to promote abortion.

Title X has been Planned Parenthood’s second largest government funding stream.  They operate as if they are entitled to federal tax dollars and use these grants as their personal slush fund.   Under these new regulations, Planned Parenthood will have to play by the new rules or get out of the game.

Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood wants you to believe abortion is just a small part of what they do. The reality is that over 90% of pregnant women who enter a Planned Parenthood clinic will receive an abortion.  It is not a “small part” of what they do, because if it were, these new rules would not make a big difference to their business model.  But we know otherwise.

This move by the Trump Administration is a promise kept. Almost 200 Members of Congress and 86 pro-life groups asked for these changes   Americans want out of the abortion business altogether.   Six in ten Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion.  Title X funds have been tangled in big abortion for far too long.

While there is still more to do, this is a big step in the right direction.  Everyone is frustrated with the Senate’s failure to pass a bill redirecting Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding, and we are still furious that the omnibus allowed abortion providers to receive funding. Now the federal agency who controls who is eligible for Title X funding has responded. We will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to find new avenues to make progress against taxpayer funding of abortion providers.

“What are we doing about Planned Parenthood now?”

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One of the most common questions I get from grassroots advocates, supporters or even other D.C. folk is, “What are we doing now about Planned Parenthood?” Although we have proven we can get Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid reimbursement funding redirected to better healthcare providers through a House vote, the Senate makeup is not changing right now, so we are tackling this from a different angle.

According to their most recent annual report, in 2016 Planned Parenthood received approximately $543.7 million from the government. This is a big pot of money that is divided in a lot of ways. The main ways Planned Parenthood receives funding is through Medicaid reimbursement for services performed and through Title X (family planning) dollars and through other various government (state and federal) grants. The healthcare reconciliation bill that failed by one vote in the Senate last year tackled the largest portion: their Medicaid reimbursement, but we are not giving up because that bill failed.

The Title X Family Planning Program was authorized in 1970 and is intended to assist in “voluntary family planning projects,” offering “a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods and services,” and may not fund “programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” The statute gives the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the ability to determine qualifications for this money. These qualifications are mostly outdated and although the statute firmly differentiates between abortion and family planning, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is a large recipient of these funds. Obama regulations required all grantees to refer for abortion. This obviously deters many from applying for funds who do not believe abortion is a method of family planning.

Members of the House know this issue well and are currently circulating a letter to the Secretary of HHS to update these regulations. HHS recently issued new Title X regulations lifting the abortion referral mandate, but members of Congress are now asking for these funds to be fully separated from abortion clinics. As it stands, several Title X locations are also abortion clinics, but members are calling to renew similar Reagan Administration regulations (that the Supreme Court upheld) that require Title X service sites to be physically and financially separate from abortion facilities.

This is just one of the ways you won’t hear about on the news that we are working to cut off the government funding stream to Planned Parenthood. Their free ride on the backs of taxpayers is not forgotten in D.C. and is coming to an end.

CWA Advocates for Pompeo’s Swift Confirmation

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Moving this week is support for President Trump’s new nominee for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.  You will see CWA becoming more active later this month on the Hill when Pompeo appears in the Senate for his official hearings for his new position as Secretary of State.  This week we joined with other conservative organizations to lend our voice to his swift approval by signing on to a letter of support that will hit the Senate soon.

The letter stated that, “Mike Pompeo’s career also shows a regard for the sanctity of life, the solidarity of the family, and the solemnity of marriage.  These principles will be key in re-building a State Department that, under President Obama, actively pushed a radical social policy around the world.  His belief in religious freedom as a foreign policy priority is equally important in directing the State Department’s efforts to protect the freedom of all people.

“Mike Pompeo will be a positive agent for change at the State Department, and a valuable asset to President Trump in imparting his agenda at home and abroad.  We support his nomination and urge his swift confirmation.”