Background on Abortion and Obamacare

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare was, and continues to be, a disaster on several fronts. Not only has the cost of insurance skyrocketed and the quality of care declined, but there are legitimate concerns over abortion funding in tax-dollar subsidized plans. The ACA is not subject to the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of elective abortions, because it “self-appropriates” and was intentionally drafted to sidestep Hyde.

The Hyde Amendment was first introduced by Rep. Henry Hyde over 40 years ago and has been estimated to have saved over two million lives. However, the Hyde Amendment is not government-wide. It is adopted every year through the appropriations process and only applies to certain authorizations outside of the appropriations process, such as the Child Health Insurance Program. As noted above, Hyde does not apply to the ACA.

In 2009, the Democrat-controlled House was drafting early versions of the ACA. During markup in the Energy and Commerce Committee, Reps. Stupak (D-Michigan) and Pitts (R-Pennsylvania) offered three pro-life amendments based on the principle that abortion is not health care. All amendments were defeated and, instead, a measure by Rep. Capps (D-California) was adopted which allowed the funding of abortion-covering plans using an accounting gimmick. This amendment made it into a final version of the ACA that was put on the House floor, but Stupak and a coalition of pro-life Democrats refused to vote for the rule until they received a vote on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment. This amendment prohibited abortion funding in a government insurance program and prohibited federal subsidies for insurance plans that covered abortion. The amendment passed 240-194, and the House passed H.R. 3962.

Senate draft versions of the ACA contained Capps-like language. Sens. Hatch (R-Utah) and Nelson (D-Nebraska) offered an amendment similar to Stupak-Pitts that was tabled by the Senate. Instead, the Senate made hollow changes to the Capps language regarding “separate” payments to secure the vote of Sen. Nelson. The accounting gimmick would allocate a portion of an individual’s premium for elective abortion funding. In a Senate floor speech, Sen. Nelson explained this would include separate checks, a fact the Obama Administration completely ignored.

The special election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) cost the Democrats their supermajority in the Senate, which complicated things. Senate Democrats voted for the ACA on Christmas Eve, but that bill was never supposed to be final; the differences between that bill and the House bill were to be worked out in conference. House Democrats were forced to pass the Senate version with minor changes that wouldn’t require Senate approval, plus a reconciliation bill (which only requires simple majority in the Senate to pass) to make fixes to the Senate bill, but Rep. Stupak continued to publicly oppose the Senate language. Ultimately, Rep. Stupak conceded and voted for the bill in exchange for an executive order (EO). The House passed the bill, and it was signed into law on March 23, 2010, and the promised EO, that merely reiterated the Capps principles and, therefore, was completely worthless, was issued on March 24.

The law, section 1303 of the ACA, requires abortion-related services to be collected via a separate payment, which must be at least $1 per enrollee per month, to be collected and kept in a separate fund. However, enforcement was left up to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and President Obama issued guidance that said separate payments could be collected together. Seriously. This means that taxpayer dollars through subsidies and cost-sharing reduction payments are co-mingled with funds that pay for elective abortions.

Reflections on 41: Three Things I Learned from President George H.W. Bush

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I joined the George H.W. Bush White House as a twenty-something presidential management intern after completing my Ivy League master’s degree in public policy. Becoming deputy associate director of education policy for the Office of Economic and Domestic Policy was a dream job. I could never have imagined stepping into an office in the Old Executive Office Building and calling it my own when starting graduate school. Having been invited to serve the man who occupied the Oval Office and declared his intention to be the Education President made it all the more meaningful. As all can attest who accept such a role, the hours are long and the benefits are priceless. Being in the center of the national conversation and influencing the direction of national policy is a heady experience. But that is where the character of the president we honor this week offered lasting life lessons for me.

First, prudence is a virtue. My generation will recall the Saturday Night Live comedy skits Dana Carvey mastered of our 41st president – the hand gestures and phrases that Carvey may have repeated more than the actual president became part of President Bush’s lasting persona. Especially the phrase “wouldn’t be prudent.” I heard this line enough out of George H.W. Bush’s mouth that it would have stuck either way. And I couldn’t help but reflect on what he was conveying. For a young woman new to politics, it spoke volumes. There are situations which tempt an expedited response, but a pause to reflect and a measured approach might result in a better solution or outcome in the long run. Prudence was a guideline to govern the decision-making process. Prudence might lead to results that aren’t always optimal or politically expedient, but generally never regretful.

Second, kindness counts. President Bush admits he was never good at the “vision thing.” But from the moment he took the oath of office, he cast a vision of a “kinder, gentler nation” that guided his presidency. It was this principle that inspired his“Thousand Points of Light” to recognize the organizations in our communities who reach others with kindness and compassion. Literally, one such organization a day was highlighted throughout his presidency from the moment of inception! We staffers would get the press releases and be reminded every day of the virtue of serving others. President Bush’s personal letters were another way he showed kindness. He was a man of the written word, whose heart was not easily expressed vocally, but bled all over the page in ink. Troves of these letters are treasures for so many people and have become the basis of the only autobiography ever written.

Third, faith matters. While private in his demonstrations of religious or spiritual expression, President Bush exemplified the foundation of faith that upheld his life. He stood on solid ground and an abiding belief in God, in humanity, and in the founding principles that birthed and upheld our nation. He conveyed calm in the midst of the storm through major events of his presidency, like the Gulf War. He invited people to the table to negotiate tough issues, like the nation’s governors on education or congressional leaders over major policy pursuits like the Americans with Disabilities Act. He believed that good-faith efforts to find common ground while keeping your word can lead to breakthroughs. His integrity was not always matched by the other side, yet he never lost faith in the potential of people to do the right thing. In Washington, some may call that naïve. I call it noble.

George H.W. Bush, our 41st president, was indeed a man of honor, worthy of our every remembrance for a lifetime of service to our country. Thank you for being my first and lasting example of prudence, kindness, and faith in the midst of Washington politics.

For America (Day 99)

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All hail King Jesus!
All hail Emmanuel!
We thank You, Lord,
For the glorious day of Your coming.

You have been and continue to be
Through every season of life —
Through joy and pain, feasting and need —
God with us! We praise Your name!

In wisdom, You chose us
To be Your instruments at this moment,
In this place, for this generation,
To preach repentance and salvation to all peoples.

Give us boldness in the face of many trials.
Do not let us shy away from the good news of the Gospel,
However many shameful attacks come our way.
Be to us our shelter and refuge.

Be to us the source and aim;
Open the eyes and ears of our hearts
That we may be sensitive to Your voice.
It is You Whom we seek to please.

To that end, help us break through our selfishness.
Change our desires to match Your will on every count;
Help us praise You in every season,
Bringing peace and joy wherever we are.

What more do we need, if we have You?
We are rich — You have blessed, and blessed, and blessed.
We receive with thanksgiving and a humble heart,
And we pray You allow us to give, and give, and give.

To love You above all and our neighbor as ourselves,
This is our only aim. For we know, in this,
All the law is fulfilled. And in obedience
We seek to live all the days of our lives.

Help us to impact our community,
Not with flattering words, or pretext for greed,
Nor seeking our own glory, but with gentle hearts
Help us proclaim Truth.

Amen.

Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

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 …”

 

 

 

 

 

Update from CWA of Virginia: This Saturday’s Event in Support of Phillip Zodhiates, Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

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As you may recall from past e-alerts, Lisa Miller is the biological mother of Isabella through artificial insemination.  For seventeen months, Isabella grew up in a household where a civil union between two women existed. Lisa left homosexuality and dissolved the civil union. In 2004, Judge Prosser of Winchester ruled that Virginia’s Marriage Affirmation Act prohibited Virginia from recognizing civil unions. He deemed Lisa Miller Isabella’s only parent.

Then political and judicial activism started. There was an appeal, and Lisa lost and has been losing ever since. Vermont ordered visitation of Isabella to the former lesbian lover.  Lisa stopped the visits when Isabella began to exhibit emotional trauma.  Lisa and Isabella left the United States to a location unknown in September 2009.

After Lisa left the country, a Vermont judge ordered custody transferred on January 1, 2010, to Janet Jenkins, the former partner of Lisa.  Two individuals were found guilty and served jail time for aiding Lisa and Isabella in leaving the United States.  A third individual, Philip Zodhiates, has been charged and convicted and will report on December 5 to begin serving his 3-year prison sentence.

An event in support of Philip Zodhiates will be held this Saturday, December 1.   Supporters will gather at Gracebuilt Church at 2639 West Main Street in Waynesboro, Virginia.  Several people close to the case will be speaking.  The event will begin at noon and a reception will follow.  Bring a finger food to share. Drinks will be provided.

They ask that you RSVP to [email protected].

Janet Robey
Prayer/Action Chapter Leader
CWA of Virginia

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith Wins Historic Mississippi Election

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

Washington, D.C. — Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith won Mississippi’s runoff election, defeated Democrat challenger Mike Espy for Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seat.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued this response:

 “I would like to whole-heartedly congratulate Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith on her historic election.  As the first woman elected to Congress from the great state of Mississippi, she inspires a new generation of conservative women.  Concerned Women for America LAC was proud to endorse her and urge our members in Mississippi to simply vote their values.  Our members around the nation prayed for her and will continue to do so as she continues the hard work of representative government.  We are excited to work alongside her on key issues like the protection of  life and religious freedom here and around the world and to stand firm for the nation of Israel.

“In all the media chatter regarding the ‘year of the woman,’ many neglect to notice that women are not monolithic and a large number embrace conservative values, especially the dignity and sanctity of human life.  The historic elections this year of Cindy Hyde-Smith and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) to the U.S. Senate and Governors Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota) and Kimberly Reynolds (R-Iowa) strongly counter that narrative. Conservative women applaud their election not simply based on gender but based on their support of our principles.”

 


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

More Encouragers Needed for 2019

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I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. –I Timothy 2:1

Dear CWA Friends,

More “encouragers” are needed for our Encourage-A-Legislator Campaign for the 2019 South Dakota Legislative Session. It would be sad if all the legislators were not covered in prayer during the Session due to our unwillingness to pray for them.

Our legislators will be required to make important decisions on many issues that will affect our state and our families. Undoubtedly, much prayer is needed to restrain the enemy’s assault on our culture.

This is our 20th year of Encourage-A-Legislator! We appreciate the faithfulness of those among you who have been “encouragers” since our first year.

Will you commit once again to adopting a legislator and praying for him or her daily during the nine-week session beginning on January 8? Each week you will send your assigned legislator a CWA-provided postcard pre-printed with a Scripture verse or inspirational quote. Simply express appreciation for the legislator’s service, note your prayers for him or her, then add a postcard stamp and mail the card on a specified date.

Many legislators responded to your encouraging postcards last year with words of appreciation. Your benefit as an “encourager” is that you are energized and blessed to be a part of this effort.

If you wish to participate, please reply by noting your commitment and providing your physical mailing address. Postcards and instructions will be sent to you just prior to the opening of the 2019 South Dakota Legislative Session.

Help us recruit more “encouragers” by printing this informative flyer and providing it to your church family and friends.

You are appreciated!

Donate to CWA While You Shop!

The Christmas season is upon us and I wanted to make you aware of an opportunity for you and your family to give to CWA through AmazonSmile with every Amazon purchase you make. It is absolutely free for you to do!  How does it work?  Simply go to org.amazon.com to set it up. When they give you the opportunity to choose an organization, choose “Concerned Women for America” from the list! Then shop away! Please share with your friends and family. Every little bit counts!

Linda Schauer
State Director
CWA of South Dakota
[email protected]
sd.cwfa.org

Use Your Voice – Episode 5, Adoption – A Celebration of Life

By | Uncategorized, Use Your Voice | No Comments

Did you know that in Virginia alone, there are about 5000 children in the foster care system and about 1000 children who are available for adoption AT THIS MOMENT. And that is just one state.

DJ Jordan joins Penny Nance to celebrate November as National Adoption Awareness Month. After a career in journalism, DJ spent almost a decade on Capitol Hill including as a spokesperson for Rep. Aderholt (R-Alabama) and as Communications Director for Sen. Lankford (R-Oklahoma). At this time, DJ is running for the state legislature in Virginia and he joined Use Your Voice this month to share his family’s heart for adoption and the story of their daughter, Tori.

This month’s episode is our favorite to date. Adoption is a beautiful expression of the heart of God and DJ’s incredible personal insight is worth hearing.