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Kyle Permann

We are Charlie

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

This morning, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., leaders of the pro-life community gathered to offer their prayers and support for Chris, Connie, and Charlie Gard of England.

Across the world, people are reacting in shock and horror at a recent ruling that grants London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital the power to choose when and how baby Charlie lives or dies. However, the almost universal outrage at the callous and injustice nature of this decision has produced a wave of people who are banding together to fight for Charlie’s life.

Penny Nance, the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, Marjorie Dannenfelser, the President of the Susan B. Anthony List, and other prominent figures in the pro-life community condemned the ruling of the British court during their joint press conference . However, they also applauded both President Trump and Pope Francis for speaking about the injustice of this decision.

Penny Nance, in her statement at the press conference, noted that, “Charlie cannot speak for himself, but God gave him good parents who love him and have his best interest at heart. Surely they should be allowed to make the decision of when to quit.” These words succinctly frame the issue that has been articulated by many people around the world: whose child is Charlie Gard?

From the ruling of the British court, it appears that the government deems themselves the appropriate authority. However, the world is uniting to fight this idea and to fight for the right of Charlie’s parents to love their son in the best way that they can—by trying to give him a chance at life.

To the Great Ormond Street Hospital—the world is watching your actions. And to Charlie’s parents—there are millions of people praying for your family and for Charlie’s healing. We will never give up hope that God will change the hearts of Charlie’s doctors, and we will never give up hope that the truth will ultimately prevail.

We urge you to pray for Charlie’s release from the hospital, for his healing, and for his family as they fight for their baby boy’s life. All life has intrinsic value, and it’s time for the world to recognize this principle.

In the words of Catherine Glenn Foster, the President and CEO of Americans United for Life, “We are all Charlie.” God has big things in store for Charlie Gard’s little life, and we will never, ever stop fighting for his chance to live.

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Kyle Permann is the 2017 Antonin Scalia Legal Fellow for Concerned Women for America

Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Need Our Money

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

Planned Parenthood’s annual budget is a massive $1.5 billion. You provide, through your tax dollars, 41% of that.  Is this necessary? The numbers are clear, and the answer is a resounding, “No.”

To understand the financial situation of Planned Parenthood, it is helpful to examine its past two annual reports. These reports offer insight on why the federal government should shift funding away from Planned Parenthood without fear of depriving women of health care.

The two most popular and frequent arguments against shifting funding away from Planned Parenthood revolve around two specific services that Planned Parenthood provides for women: birth control and health examinations. Indeed, Planned Parenthood prides itself on promoting and supporting all aspects of women’s health. However, from 2014-2015 to 2015-2016, the numbers of services in this capacity went down significantly.

While the 2014-2015 report does not include the numbers for well-woman exams, the numbers of this service only account for 2% of all services provided by Planned Parenthood in 2015-2016. Additionally, the amount of birth control distributed through their centers went down by 140,000 from 2014-2015.

The services which liberals offer as evidence of the necessity of Planned Parenthood for women’s health care are decreasing every year, yet the numbers of abortions are growing. In the past year, the number of abortions increased by 5,000. This simple fact, found through a quick overview of Planned Parenthood’s annual report, proves the foundation for the true mission of the largest abortion provider in the nation.

Planned Parenthood, even with the decrease in specific health services, is continually growing both its excess revenue and its net assets. In the past two fiscal years, Planned Parenthood’s net assets have increased by almost $140 million with an excess revenue of $138 million.

How is this possible when Planned Parenthood’s services for women are decreasing steadily? The sad but simple answer is “abortion.” Planned Parenthood conducted 328,348 abortions in 2015-2016, and the profit from those abortions ranges anywhere from $136 million to $364 million.

Why are we funding this organization with our tax dollars?  Add to this the fact that Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation for selling aborted baby parts, and the fact is there is no reason we should be funding them.

It’s time for Congress to reevaluate federal funding for abortion. Planned Parenthood doesn’t need taxpayers’ dollars.  Abortion is not health care, but it is a lucrative business, as we have seen. It is why their services for women are slowly being overwhelmed by STD testing and abortions. Planned Parenthood’s ever-growing wealth indicates that it is more than able to raise a profit on its own.

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Kyle Permann is the 2017 Antonin Scalia Legal Fellow for Concerned Women for America

Repealing ObamaCare and the Future of Women’s Health Care

By | Legal, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Health Centers Compared to Planned Parenthoods (Charlotte Lozier Institute)

A repeal of ObamaCare and the subsequent defunding of Planned Parenthood does not mean the end of easy access to women’s health centers. However, the media is still trying to villainize the Republicans’ attempt to fix the collapsing ObamaCare experiment.

The most recent effort was a CNN article discussing the story of a woman, Ariana Gonzalez, who lives in the Imperial Valley of California. Due to long wait periods at her local doctor’s office and complications following the birth of her youngest child, Gonzalez began to frequent a local Planned Parenthood where she received the needed care as well as birth control.

Before the Planned Parenthood opened in her town, however, Gonzalez often crossed the border into Mexico to receive affordable treatment. She fears that, if the current Senate health care bill becomes law, she will once again have to return to Mexico for affordable medical treatment and birth control because her Planned Parenthood will shut down due to lack of funding.

She criticizes the GOP, most of whom are men, for deciding what is best for women. However, this single quote in the article reveals the true intent behind Gonzalez’ story. While she may indeed struggle to find care, this criticism is a talking point straight from Planned Parenthood’s playbook.

While the media continually promotes the falsehood that conservatives do not care about women, a quick examination of the facts reveals the very opposite. Data from the Charlotte Lozier Institute reveals that there are currently twenty-three federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) for every Planned Parenthood.

FQHCs are facilities that “are required to provide comprehensive services to an underserved area or population, offer a sliding fee scale, have an ongoing quality assurance program, and have a governing board of directors, the majority of whom are patients of the health center.” These FQHCs are alternatives to Planned Parenthoods, and the new Republican health care plan will redirect funding to FQHCS. The funding is meant to improve the quality and expand the service at these centers.

Gonzalez herself has an FQHC in her town, which could provide her with the care that she requires. Yet, in response to this option, she recounts the long wait time when she went to the clinic to receive care for her son.

Wait time is a normal aspect of any doctor’s office, yet returning to Mexico for treatment is not the answer. While Gonzalez waited for four hours to see a doctor in her town, she had to go to Mexico and back, and then, according to her own account, waited three hours to get back to the United States after receiving care across the border. Her assessment is an attempt to help Planned Parenthood, but in reality, the facts don’t support it. Also, with more funding for FQHCs, each clinic will be better equipped to help their patients.

Additionally, since Planned Parenthood does not offer pediatric care, Gonzalez must find care for her family elsewhere. Remember also that Gonzalez’ Planned Parenthood will not necessarily close, even if it ceases to receive federal funding.

Planned Parenthood doesn’t even need to lose the government funding.  It’s just so insistent on holding on to abortion that it is choosing to do so. President Trump promised that he would not cut funding to Planned Parenthood if they ceased to perform abortions. Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, responded with indignation: “Planned Parenthood has always stood strong against these attacks on our patients and their ability to access the full range of reproductive health care.” So, it is Planned Parenthood who is choosing their own agenda over the real needs of millions of women.

Like many women, Gonzalez uses Planned Parenthood as a place to quickly and easily acquire her regular birth control. Even with a new health care plan, the HHS birth control mandate will still be in place. In Gonzalez’ town of El Centro, her local health center would be able to fulfill her need for birth control.

Every cent that is spent helping Planned Parenthood concentrate on abortion today will still go towards women’s health. These clinics provide care for a much larger range of people and the whole woman, while Planned Parenthood’s main focus, as we have seen time and again, is abortion.

It’s time to redirect federal funding in a way that benefits the most people. As a result, women like Ariana Gonzalez will receive better care and will not have to help Planned Parenthood continue its abortion promotion, just to get birth control.

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Kyle Permann is the 2017 Antonin Scalia Legal Fellow for Concerned Women for America

Don’t Let Them Win

By | News and Events, Religious Issues | No Comments

In late May, the world was once again struck by the evils of radical Islamic terror. Seven innocent lives were lost and countless more injured in a type of attack that is becoming all too common. In an increasingly dark and violent world, it can be difficult to find God. Where was He when three men decided to rampage through the streets of London? Where was He when innocent people died? And where was He when people cried out for help?

All around the world, people are asking these questions, longing to make sense of the chaos that surrounds them. As Christians, it is our responsibility to be ready to answer these questions, because we must “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks [us] to give the reason for the hope that [we] have” (1 Peter 3:15). We are not defeated by the darkness, and we must fulfill our calling as the salt and light of the world.

Yet, every time we doubt the sovereignty of God, and every time we allow the terrorists to strike fear into our hearts, we let them win. However, it is important for Christians to acknowledge these questions that can be difficult to answer for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ.

While the world around us continually rejects the truth, we must live out this one fact: God is sovereign. This is our comfort and our joy as we face events such as the terrorist attack in London. This is also the answer to the question, “Why?” It isn’t an answer that the world likes, and it isn’t an answer that the world accepts, but it is an answer that allows us to trust that God is in control — no matter what.

Jesus reminded His disciples that, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). But, after this warning, He offered a reminder that is extremely poignant for today: “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” For the sake of those who lost their lives, don’t let the terrorists win. We must carry on with our heads held high. One day Jesus will return in victory, and all will be made new. This promise is our hope when the world turns upside down.

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Kyle Permann is the 2017 Antonin Scalia Legal Fellow for Concerned Women for America.

Victory for CSU Students for Life Group

By | LBB, News and Events | No Comments

CSU campus by Spilly816 (own work)
[CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Students for Life won a decided victory this past week when it reached a settlement with Colorado State University (CSU) in its fight for equal standing with other school organizations. In January Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of the Students for Life chapter at CSU after the university denied funding to the group because of the pro-life views of a potential speaker.

CSU originally denied the request for funding because the content of the speech “did not appear entirely unbiased as it addresses the topic of abortion.” School officials further stated that if the group hosted the speaker, “Folks from varying sides of the issue won’t necessarily feel affirmed in attending the event.” Evoking their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, the student organization sought to overcome the discrimination it faced from CSU and to receive the requested funding.

The settlement encouraged CSU to reevaluate and revise its unconstitutional policies concerning funding for student organizations in two ways. First, the new policies abolished CSU’s Diversity Grant program, the program through which CSU denied funds to the Students for Life chapter. Second, CSU clarified and neutralized the criteria for evaluating funding requests. This new criteria forbids discrimination based on the religious affiliation of a student group. ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer commented, “University officials shouldn’t use mandatory student fees to favor some views while shutting out others.” Additionally, the settlement recouped the cost of the speaker as well as the student fees of the Students for Life members, a total amount of $600.

Casey Mattox, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom, explained the significance of this case: “Today’s college students will be tomorrow’s legislators, judges, commissioners, and voters. That’s why it’s so important that public universities model the First Amendment values they are supposed to be teaching to students.”

As Concerned Women for America (CWA) continues to expand its Young Women for America (YWA) college chapters, we are committed to fighting for the rights of conservative women to freely express their views.  It is a travesty that colleges and universities have been overrun by left-wing ideologies for so long that conservative students are often marginalized.  We are committed to changing that, and we are thankful for the work of other organizations like Students for Life and the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Kelsey Gold, CWA’s Young Women for America Coordinator, who applauded the resolution in this case and said, “YWA has experienced the targeting of left-wing academics first hand, so we know this is a widespread problem that young conservative women continue to encounter regularly.  But we are not deterred.  We are determined to make our mark for freedom, liberty, and intellectual diversity on every campus in the U.S.  Truth is a powerful antidote that refuses to be suppressed.”

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Kyle Permann is the 2017 Antonin Scalia Legal Fellow for Concerned Women for America.