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Lindsey Hudson

House Republican Appropriators Seek to Restore Pro-Life Protections

By | Legislative Updates, Minnesota, News and Events, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

By Lindsey Hudson, Intern for Concerned Women for America’s Government Relations

Last week, the Democrat majority of the House Committee on Appropriations advanced several fiscal year (FY) 2021 spending bills brimming with anti-life provisions. To Republicans’ dismay, appropriators rejected amendments to four major spending bills to restore these measures, and the bills were passed out of committee along party lines.

The Democrat FY2021 State Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill which funds international programs eliminated President Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy. It weakened language of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which in turn would allow the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to receive more U.S. financial aid. Both are especially critical to preserve. Here’s why:

The Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations from performing or promoting abortions to ensure that given U.S. funds are not being channeled towards overseas abortions. The Kemp-Kasten Amendment prevents funds going to entities that actively support or participate in coercive abortions. Moreover, it is a means through which the President is able to divert funding away from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which engaged in the Chinese population control program.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama), warned the Committee of the consequence of attacking pro-life policy:

“President Trump has made his intention very clear. [In his 2019 letter to Speaker Pelosi, the President wrote], ‘I will veto any legislation that weakens current pro-life Federal policies and laws …’”

SFOPS Subcommittee Ranking Member, Hal Rodgers (R-Kentucky) offered an amendment to restore the pro-life policies and remove the problematic language of the bill. Despite Republican efforts, the Rodgers’ amendment was shot down by a vote of 21-29.

Pro-life policy attacks also succeeded in the Democrat’s FY2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) which passed by a vote of 30 to 22.  It eradicates the Trump administration’s regulations guarding against taxpayer funding of abortion, including changes to Section 1557 of Obamacare, the Title X Protect Life Rule, and the Conscience Protection Rule.  These crucial regulations were put in place to shield human life, as well as safeguard religious liberty.

Section 1557 ensures that health care providers under Obamacare are not required to provide and pay for abortions. Title X’s Protect Life Rule redirects tax dollars away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, only allowing funds for family planning that does not include abortion.  The Conscience Protection Rule ensures security for health care organizations that do not wish to participate in abortions, sterilizations, or assisted suicides.

An effort by Rep. Tom Cole’s (R-Oklahoma) to restore these measures was rejected on a party-line vote.

The Democrat’s anti-life agenda was pushed further in the FY2021 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill. While the bill retains certain pro-life measures in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, the D.C. Hyde Amendment is altered to permit local funds towards abortions in the District of Columbia. Once again, Rep. Aderholt sought to reinstate the longstanding D.C. Hyde Amendment, but it was voted down by Democrats on a voice vote.

Lastly, the FY2021 Defense Appropriations bill was passed, again on a party-line vote of 30 to 22.  Rep. Andy Harris (R-Maryland) made a noble attempt to apply the protections of the Born Alive Abortions Survivors Protection Act to the TRICARE program which provides health care to military service members and their families. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Washington) made a strong appeal to the Democrat side of the aisle:

“When a baby has left a mother’s womb, it is not part of her body … This baby is already here … You’re not throwing your belief about being pro-choice out the window by saying, ‘Once a baby is here, we’re going to protect it.’”

Rep. Harris’s amendment to block TRICARE funding for any health care provider failing to administer life-saving care to babies born alive from attempted abortions gained the support of two committee Democrats but failed by a vote of 24 to 28.

The Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee should be applauded for standing firm, speaking up, and being consistent on their pro-life position. Longstanding pro-life language was maintained within the appropriations bills’ text, including the Hyde Amendment and the Helms Abortion Funding Ban. Unfortunately, the road ahead on the House floor does not look promising as the Democrat majority appears determined to undo the progress the Trump Administration has worked hard to advance to protect life.

DOJ Backs Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act

By | Blog, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

By Lindsey Hudson, Intern for Concerned Women for America’s Government Relations Department

Idaho is spearheading the fight to protect and maintain equal opportunity and fair competition for female athletes in sports. The state saw a problem with women’s rights, safety, scholarships, and opportunities being stripped away and decided to be the first to do something about it.

Idaho enacted House Bill 500, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act (Fairness Act) to prevent male students identifying as females from participating on female sports teams. This bill explains males have biological differences: denser, stronger bones, greater lung capacity, higher levels of testosterone. These scientific, biological differences give males an unfair advantage in athleticism when compared to female athletes. The Fairness Act signed into law on March 30, 2020, will be put into effect next month. State lawmakers in 14 additional states are in agreement with Idaho’s Fairness Act and have acted by proposing similar legislation. Through their legislators, citizens across the U.S. are seeking to preserve fair competition in women’s sports. Yet, certain organizations continue to actively oppose this form of equal opportunity.

The state’s brave actions towards protecting women’s rights are facing unjustifiable pushback from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The progressive, leftist organization immediately filed a lawsuit contesting Idaho’s Fairness Act. The ACLU also sent a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), pressuring the sports association to boycott Idaho from holding any NCAA sporting events.

Despite these threats to the Fairness Act, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has rightly spoken up to back the constitutionality of the bill. DOJ’s Attorney General William P. Barr states this on the action: “Allowing biological males to compete in all-female sports is fundamentally unfair to female athletes. Under the Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause allows Idaho to recognize the physiological differences between the biological sexes in athletics.”

DOJ’s involvement in the federal lawsuit gives needed lift in protecting female athletes’ rights, especially those facing the problem on the front lines. Mary Kate Marshall and Madison Kenyon, two Idaho college track athletes who have faced this unjust competition in the Big Sky Conference, have joined the state of Idaho in defense of the Fairness Act, opposing the ACLU’s lawsuit. Victory in this case would ensure female athletes continued equal opportunity in championships, scholarships, and fairly competing at their best.

The track and cross-country athlete, Madison Kenyon, had this to say: “Sex separation in sports helps ensure that males and females each enjoy opportunities for fair competition and victory. It helps ensure that if women like me work hard, that hard work pays off, and we have a shot at winning.”

This summer marked the 48th anniversary of Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits students participating in any education program or activity from being discriminated against on the basis of sex. Title IX established a way for female student-athletes to have equal opportunity and fair competition within women’s sports. According to The Women’s Sports Foundation, only one in 27 girls participated in school sports before Title IX, but since the creation of Title IX, two in five girls now participate in school sports. We must now realize that by allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports, female student-athletes will be hindered in participating and fairly competing in the long run.

The Trump Justice Department’s support, state lawmakers’ proposed legislation, and citizens speaking up for fairness and equity in women’s sports competition are big wins for conserving female athletes’ rights. The conflict has not been won, however, due to intense activist opposition. Concerned Women for America urges you to use your voice to support an equal playing field for all female student-athletes.

ACT NOW:  It’s time for the NCAA to defend, not undermine, female athletes. If you are a current or former NCAA or professional female athlete who cares about fairness in women’s sports, please sign this letter to the NCAA! The deadline to sign is July 24.

CWA CEO and President Penny Nance speaking at Protect Women Protect Life rally at the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Circumvents Louisiana’s State’s Rights

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

Concerned Women for America (CWA) ­­is dismayed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision this week in June Medical Services v. Russo. The decision is not a ruling involving the constitutionality of abortion, but rather about upholding protective health codes and guidelines for women receiving medical procedures involving abortion. Unfortunately, in this case, the highest Court again turned its back on protecting life and protecting women.

In 2014, Louisiana State Senator Katrina Jackson, a Democrat, took a stand to protect women’s health relating to abortion procedures by sponsoring Louisiana Law 620, the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act. The state law ensured safety for women receiving abortions by requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The law safeguards women during medical procedures in case of emergencies, as well as aligns with medical protocol required for the rest of the state. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court’s ruling declared the law “unconstitutional” as an “undue burden” on abortion and failed the citizens of Louisiana who believe in the importance of guarding women’s health and safety.

State Senator Jackson vowed to protect against “shoddy medical care … There is no dispute in the medical community about the known complications of abortion, such as hemorrhage, uterine perforation and incomplete abortion … Every complication can become serious and have the potential to change the course of a woman’s life by endangering her reproductive health.”

She went on to state, “While abortion is legally protected, abortion facilities should have the same health standards as the rest of the medical profession. Why should we settle for lower standards for women, especially when women are often coerced or abandoned to the trauma of abortion? I am pro-woman and pro-life.”

U.S. Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) had this to say:

“I am frustrated and angered by today’s Supreme Court ruling. As an OB/GYN of 25 years, I have personally cared for women in emergency situations after they were driving home from a botched abortion … It is necessary to require abortion clinics to comply with basic regulations protecting these women. Beyond the obvious tragedy of abortion, today’s ruling will put the lives and direct health of women at risk. A shameful and wrong decision.”

Louisiana’s abortion clinics, including June Medical Services, have been flagged on multiple occasions with violating safety codes and guidelines. Violations documented in Statements of Deficiencies by the Louisiana Department of Health include failure to ensure all patients completed and signed consent forms for the abortion procedure, failure to ensure an abortion patient was medically stable upon discharge, failure to ensure that the physician performed and documented a physical examination on each abortion patient, failure to ensure medical supplies utilized were sanitary, unexpired, and properly stored, and more.

Instead of affirming a state’s right to regulate against such egregious violations, the Court majority chose instead to fail women by refusing to allow states like Louisiana to regulate abortion in the same way it regulates other medical procedures. This ruling extends the bad Supreme Court precedent that only guarantees future court fights over state laws.  Rest assured that CWA will be there rallying for the pro-woman, pro-life cause, and against the misguided abortion “carve-outs” that continue to be perpetuated by the Court.

Lindsey Hudson is a CWA 2020 Intern for our Government Relations Dept.