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Feminist / Women’s Issues

Democrats Playing Election-Year Politics with the Violence Against Women Act

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

CWA’s Vice President of Government Relation, Doreen Denny wrote the following Op-Ed about the Violence Against Women Act.

Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California) spent months collaborating on a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Their attempts to bring bipartisanship back to the process after the House majority rejected such collaboration were noble.  But their effort came to a “screeching halt” when Senate Democrats called a press conference to announce they were sponsoring the House bill instead.

“Once again, the Democrats are putting politics ahead of people and have decided to move forward on the House-passed VAWA bill,” Sen. Ernst announced.  This is a bill which Senate Democrats know full well is a non-starter for Senate approval.  Rejecting any history of bipartisanship or restraint, House Democrats loaded their reauthorization bill, H.R. 1585, with gun control, unemployment entitlements, and expansive ideological mandates.

Sen Ernst went on to explain how her good faith efforts with the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee were derailed as a political calculation. “Election-year politics are in full swing, and the grim reality is Democrats cannot afford to be seen giving Republicans a win. The far-left agenda of the House has hijacked the process.”

The politicization of something as significant as the Violence Against Women Act should have no place in the development of policy. Women victims of violence should be the last thing used as a pawn for political gain.  And yet that is exactly what the Democrats have done again this year.

This is not the first time VAWA has been held hostage in high-stakes partisan politics. It happened last year as VAWA was set to expire during the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (NTF) is a coalition of activist groups who guard the programs and funds for VAWA grantees. For years, they have worked in lock step with the Democrats to promote a progressively leftist agenda on VAWA and to demand that the same money go to the same providers. They are not fools in playing political games.

At the height of the Supreme Court battle, NTF sent a letter to Senate Republican leadership “to apprise you of our intention to disengage from negotiations over VAWA” to protest the handling of Christine Blasey Ford.

NTF laid out ground rules for how the Judiciary Committee should proceed with  Ford, concluding that, “Justice demands a fair process that treats Professor Ford far better than with the derision, scorn, and humiliation to which Professor Hill was subjected 27 years ago.”

Following their Kavanaugh defeat, the left cried foul at the “expiration of VAWA” and used it as a weapon against congressional Republicans in the 2018 election. Their prize: a House takeover, Speaker Pelosi, and a VAWA reauthorization bill showcasing their leftist policy agenda.

Considering how VAWA has been politicized over the last decade, it should come as no surprise that Sen. Ernst’s noble effort to work with the Democrats on an improved and modernized Violence Against Women Act broke down.  It didn’t surprise us. NTF is back on message demanding that the Senate pass the left’s wish list: unbounded unemployment benefits that could bankrupt states, gun confiscation orders that could disarm vulnerable women, and expansion of transgender rights giving biological men who claim to be women access to female domestic violence shelters and prisons, compromising the safety of women who have no other place of refuge or escape.

Meanwhile H.R. 1585’s partisan overreach falls short of important improvements that the Senate should correct. It overlooks meaningful protections for emerging threats to women in our country including female genital mutilation, honor killings, and forced marriages.  It deletes sex trafficking as a form of sexual assault against women and girls. It lets pimps off the hook and ignores the acceleration of threats from online predators.  It rejects full transparency and accountability in VAWA grant programs, including the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer funds that have gone every year to Planned Parenthood.

So long as Democrats choose to put election-year politics above safety, protection, and justice for women survivors, the effort to put a stronger VAWA on solid ground for the coming years will be futile. It’s time for Democrats to stop using VAWA to score political points and embrace a truly bipartisan reauthorization bill that can reach the President’s desk this year.

See Additional Pieces Written by Doreen Denny.

The UN Is Pushing Abortion On Developing Countries, But The Trump Administration Is Fighting Back

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

CWA’s Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison, wrote the following Op-Ed published in the Daily Caller.

Once again, the United Nations is pushing abortion into developing countries under the guise of “accelerating” progress for women. And once again, the Trump administration is fighting back.

Backed by Western organizations and money, the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), Norway and Kenya staged a summit last week in Nairobi to reflect the narrow interests of abortion proponents. Among supporters are the abortion-promoting organizations Plan International, the Gates Foundation, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Women Deliver, the U.N. Foundation, and She Decides.

Coming on the heels of the September U.S. Joint Statement on Universal Health Coverage, the summit seems a direct contradiction against 21 U.N. member states committed to “not support … ambiguous terms and expressions, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights in U.N. documents.” In response to the summit, the U.S. issued another statement on behalf of eleven countries reaffirming a commitment to protecting life and protesting that the priorities of the event do not enjoy international consensus.

The  Nairobi Summit claims to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) which negotiated reproductive health and population issues with representatives from 179 countries. But U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter wrote pro-abortion groups actually used this year’s summit as “a vehicle to try and further their agenda” saying they “are attempting to rewrite ICPD’s … language … with an alternative set of commitments that go beyond what was agreed to by member states in the original ICPD.”

Read Dr. Garrison’s entire Piece Here:

Katie Hill’s Exit Renews #MeToo Anxiety in Washington

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

CWA’s CEO and President Penny Nance weighs in on Representative Katie Hill’s resignation in an interview with Susan Crabtree of Real Clear Politics.

“Katie Hill, part of the ambitious group of women who helped hand Democrats the House majority last year, was expected to break a lot of boundaries when she came to Washington — though new House ethics rules passed to curb #MeToo complaints weren’t among them.

At 32, Hill is young, attractive and one of the first openly bisexual members of Congress. She was a rising star whose quick flameout has both parties on edge once again over #MeToo allegations and inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace and whether Washington’s reckoning, in contrast to that of Hollywood and Manhattan, still has a long way to go.

Revelations over the last week established that Hill had engaged in two sexual relationships with staffers, violating new House rules passed at the height of #MeToo furor.”

Read the Entire Article Here and See Penny Nance’s Comments:

Penny Nance on FoxNews.com: Hillary Clinton’s Tulsi Gabbard attack has taught us THIS

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

Hillary Clinton’s claim that presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is “the favorite of the Russians” in the Democratic primary and her implication that Gabbard is “a Russian asset” show that the former Democratic presidential nominee’s talk of sisterhood and solidarity with other women is hogwash.

This should be an enlightening moment for all American women – Democrats, Republicans and independents.

We have seen it before. Republican women like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, presidential primary candidates Carly Fiorina and Rep. Michele Bachmann, and Trump White House officials Sarah Sanders and Kellyanne Conway have been targeted by other women for shocking attacks.

Read Penny’s Entire Op-Ed on FoxNews.com Here:

It’s Time for Congress to Get the Debbie Smith Act to the President’s Desk

By | Feminist / Women's Issues, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

 

Strengthening Debbie Smith Act Essential
for Victims of Sexual Assault

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. House of Representatives is voting to reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act, a vital program first enacted in 2004 to help states and localities end the backlog of untested DNA evidence, specifically sexual assault kits. Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee issued the following statement in response:

“Sexual assault is a horrific offense that turns a victim’s body into a crime scene. No woman who bravely agrees to undergo the hours-long process for obtaining a sexual assault kit should have that evidence go to waste.  

“After 15 years of the Debbie Smith Act and nearly $1 billion spent, most states still don’t know how many rape kits remain untested. We must do better. Victims of sexual assault deserve to know that every kit is accounted for and every last one is processed, because every rape kit represents a brave woman waiting for justice.

“During my testimony last summer before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Debbie Smith Act, I advocated for greater priority for testing rape kits and greater accountability to end the backlog. The first priority for these funds should be for the victims of sexual assault who have been waiting for justice, often while enduring significant physical and psychological trauma. Let’s not forget that they are up against the clock due to statutes of limitations in some states. 

Concerned Women for America applauds the Senate for passing these important improvements to the Debbie Smith Act. Today the House is taking the next step. We owe it to victims to get this right, and we call on Congress to get the job done.”

Ivanka Trump Is Right about Empowering Women

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

CWA’s Vice President for International Affairs, Shea Garrison writes an op-ed featured in National Review examining Ivanka Trump’s initiatives to cultivate women’s full economic potential.

“A  recent article in the Los Angeles Times criticizes Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump for working to empower women in the global economy. Trump, a 37-year old businesswoman and entrepreneur (with a degree from the Wharton School of Business), leads the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), the first comprehensive “all of government” initiative to help women and girls in developing countries overcome barriers to economic participation and maximize their potential.

Filled with uninformed condescension and sexist statements, the article questions Trump’s role as an advisor and a leader of U.S. development assistance. In actuality, the biased article fails to acknowledge that Ivanka Trump is the first leader within a U.S. administration to effectively focus on what she calls the “most underutilized resource” in the developing world — the power and genius of women. For those of us who have worked in the world of women’s economic empowerment and have seen the dynamic and lasting change it can bring to families and communities, her efforts in this arena are greatly appreciated.

In light of pervasive global poverty and income inequality, Trump’s desire to cultivate women’s full economic potential hits on two excellent points: First, that sustainable development uses a holistic approach to increase the capability and participation of all people in the community — instead of just focusing on the “end goal” of economic growth; and second, that development aid has historically included what Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen called the “extensive neglect of the interests and agency of women.””

Read Dr. Garrison’s Entire Piece Here in National Review:

CNS News: “LGBT Activists Outside Supreme Court: ‘Trans Women Are Women’”

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

CEO and President Penny Nance spoke with CNS News about Tuesday’s proceedings inside the Supreme Court during a rally on the front steps.

While the Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday about whether sex discrimination, as codified in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, also applies to sexually fluid people – intersex, transgender — activists protested outside the court proclaiming that sex is not based on biology.

LGBT activists yelled, “trans women are women” and had several speakers lecture on gender diversity. On the other side, the conservative group Concerned Women of America pressed that changing the meaning of “sex” in the Civil Rights Act “would greatly undermine the women’s movement.” They held signs that read, “Sex is not Gender.””

Read the Entire Story and Listen to the Audio Here.

SCOTUS Rally

Transgender Legislative Petition Before SCOTUS

By | Case Vault, Family Issues, Feminist / Women's Issues, Legal, News and Events, Religious Liberty, SCOTUS | No Comments

Oral Arguments in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC

“Aimee Stephens is a transgender woman,” started the argument at the United States Supreme Court in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, where Stephens is asking the Court to include “gender identity” within the definition of “sex” discrimination in federal civil rights law (specifically Title VII, the employment context in this case) . With that simple statement David Cole of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who represented Stephens, glossed over the most important fact to remember in this debate. Aimee Stephens is biologically a man. Aimee undoubtedly feels like a woman and has decided to live as a transgender woman. But the biological fact (reality) remains.

This is why, it is no violation of civil rights, to ask Aimee to use the men’s bathroom or at least to refrain from using the women’s bathroom (in many cases a single stall, private bathroom is available). Aimee is scientifically a man. If someone like Aimee wishes to enter athletic competitions, there is a place for males to compete against other male athletes. For someone like Aimee to demand to compete among female athletes is a great injustice to those who in fact are female.

This is plain for all to see. It is not bigotry.

The reality is most people empathize and even identify with the conflict between Aimee’s biology and psyche at some level. Most people in the U.S. would stand against harassment or beratement directed at Aimee. The great majority would fight against those wishing Aimee harm.

But the reality, once again, is that that is not enough for Aimee and most vocal transgender individuals. In their mind, to say they are not the sex they identify with is to discriminate against them. This is why we are seeing a push for laws that demand we refer to them as the pronoun of their choice.

Mr. Cole at oral arguments tried as hard as he could to say that that was not the issue in the case. He danced around multiple questions from Chief Justice Roberts on the issue of bathrooms, ultimately admitting to Justice Neil Gorsuch that it would be harmful to ask transgenders to follow sex-specific bathroom rules.

JUSTICE GORSUCH: “… but ultimately came to, I believe, a submission that a reasonable person in the transgender plaintiff’s position would be harmed if he or she were fired for failing to follow the bathroom rules or some sort of dress code that’s not otherwise objectionable …”

COLE: “Yeah.”

Mr. Cole’s effort to avoid the issue was so blatant, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of the most liberal voice on the Court, called him out on it.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “Mr. Cole, let’s not avoid the difficult issue, okay? You have a transgender person who rightly is identifying as a woman and wants to use the women’s bedroom, rightly, wrongly, not a moral choice, but this is what they identify with. Their need is genuine. I’m accepting all of that –­

COLE: Yeah.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: –and they want to use the women’s bathroom. But there are other women who are made uncomfortable, and not merely uncomfortable, but who would feel intruded upon if someone who still had male characteristics walked into their bathroom. That’s why we have different bathrooms.

So, the hard question is how do we deal with that? And what in the law will guide judges in balancing those things? That’s really what I think the question is about.

Still, the ACLU attorney refused to acknowledge reality. “Well, that is –that is -­that is a question, Justice Sotomayor. It is not the question in this case.”

That is the sort of unreasonable halt to logic the Court would need to do to go along with the LGBTQ-affirming demands in this case.

Both Justice Samuel Alito and Ruth Bader Ginsburg tried to engage Mr. Cole in the discussion of women’s athletics (under Title IX). Round and round Mr. Cole went to avoid the issue, knowing, as we all do, the disastrous consequences for women if he were to win in this case. There are no consequences according to the way he argued the case. The hundreds of thousands of people expressing concerns, including Judge Gerard Lynch of the Second Circuit are just hysterically overreacting.

Judge Lynch supports LGBTQ protections but acknowledged the text of Title VII does not include sexual orientation and gender identity under the word “sex.” “Congress did no such thing,” he acknowledged painfully in his dissenting opinion on the case.

There was no such consideration on behalf of the arguing attorney, and in fact, there was no such introspection on behalf of the liberal side of the Court. Justice Sotomayor tried to hold it in for most of the argument but finally, let it out at the conclusion of arguments.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “May I just ask, at what point does a court continue to permit invidious discrimination against groups that, where we have a difference of opinion, we believe the language of the statute is clear. I think Justice Breyer was right that Title VII, the Civil Rights Act, all of our acts were born from the desire to ensure that we treated people equally and not on the basis of invidious reasons.”

Did you notice the shift? The text of the statute means nothing really. Passion rules. It appears Judge Sotomayor is ready to make “sex” mean whatever they feel like, as long as she perceives “invidious reasons.”

Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan all seemed open to the idea of manipulating the text as needed. We can only hope they realize the consequences beyond personal passion.

Though there are forceful emotions involved in this case, and even difficult cases left unaddressed where legislation is needed, the judicial action demanded is deference to the legislative branch who has not included sexual orientation and gender identity under Title VII. And, were they to do so, would have to inevitably consider the many examples of significant harm to women’s rights that the LGBTQ-affirming side refuses to acknowledge.

John Bursch, of the Alliance Defending Freedom, who argued on behalf of Harris Funeral Homes, said it plainly, “Treating women and men equally does not mean employers have to treat men as women. That is because sex and transgender status are independent concepts.”

Noel Francisco, arguing as Solicitor General, agreed, “There’s a reason why when Congress wants to prohibit discrimination based on the traits of sexual orientation and gender identity, it lists them separately. It doesn’t define sex as including these traits.”

That should be the end of the inquiry here. This is a legislative matter, not a judicial one, and the Court should resist the temptation to engage in judicial activism, as it has done in the past with disastrous consequences.


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

The Daily Caller Interview with our CEO and President Penny Nance

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

During the rally on the steps of the Supreme Court for the R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case, our CEO and President, Penny Nance, explained exactly why Concerned Women for America was standing up and speaking out for women in an interview with The Daily Caller.

See the original interview here and read more.

Concerned Women for America Partners with Women’s Liberation Front to Stand Up for Women and Girls

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

 

 

 

 

 

Washington, D.C. – The conservative public policy women’s organization, Concerned Women for America (CWA) is partnering with the self-proclaimed radical feminists’ organization, Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) to Stand Up and Speak Out against injustice for women and girls. These two groups represent hundreds of thousands of women across the country who will be victimized if the Supreme Court redefines the word “sex” to include “gender identity” in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“To arbitrarily change the word ‘sex’ to include gender identity is regressive, not progressive,” said Penny Nance, CEO and President of CWA. “It would greatly undermine the women’s movement and the women who dedicated their lives to see the advancements we enjoy today,” she continued. “It’ll be a rough day for freedom of speech and conscience if the Supreme Court rules that we can all be compelled to lie about sex,” added Natasha Chart, Board Chair of the Women’s Liberation Front.

Together, CWA and WoLF are hosting a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court to highlight speakers who will share story after story of how they are the true victims of the determined political activism over “gender identity.” Examples include women athletes who can no longer compete in their sports, women who have been assaulted in formerly safe places that excluded males, scientists who have been fired for presenting factual science publicly, and former transgender individuals who have now detransitioned. The rally will be held, Tuesday, October 8, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET at the Supreme Court of the United States located at 1 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20543.

Statement of Penny Nance Final

Statement of Natasha Chart Final

 

An Open Letter to Mr. Timothy Sands, President of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

By | Feminist / Women's Issues, News and Events, Religious Liberty, Social / Cultural Issues | No Comments

Natasha Chart, Board Chair of Women’s Liberation Front and Penny Nance, CEO & President of Concerned Women for America wrote an open letter to Dr. Timothy Sands, President of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University asking him to meet with them to discuss eroding women’s rights on college campuses.

CWA to Planned Parenthood: Choice is in Your Court, Not 9th Circuit’s

By | Feminist / Women's Issues, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, August 19, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must receive plans from Title X grantees, including Planned Parenthood, proving how they will comply with new rules to uphold long-standing federal law. These rules require full financial and physical separation of Title X funds from abortion services and bar abortion referrals in order to fulfill Congressional intent prohibiting abortion as “a method of family planning.” The rules also require grantees to report any evidence of sexual abuse or sex trafficking in accordance with state law, rules that are needed to combat documented cases of Planned Parenthood’s complicit actions shielding sexual abuse and sex traffickers.

Doreen Denny, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee’s Senior Director of Government Relations, responded to Planned Parenthood’s high-profile threat to pull out of the Title X program barring a court-ordered injunction:

“Planned Parenthood has no entitlement to federal funding, and they apparently have no plans to comply with federal rules either.  For years, Planned Parenthood has skirted federal law to promote its abortion business on the backs of the American taxpayer. If Planned Parenthood truly cared about promoting health, it would stop peddling abortion and start supporting women. Planned Parenthood’s threat to withdraw from the Title X program proves one thing: health care is not their primary business; abortion is. The choice to comply is in Planned Parenthood’s court, not the Ninth Circuit’s.”

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The Christian Post: Google has History of Anti-pregnancy Bias, Pro-life Group Says

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

Concerned Women for America CEO and President Penny Nance is quoted in an article in The Christian Post about discrimination at Google.

“A former Google employee’s accusation that the tech giant discriminates against its pregnant workers comes after it has long been accused of efforts to silence pro-life voices.

The pro-life group Live Action said in an analysis on Tuesday that Google “doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being pro-life.”

“Google has shown a clear bias against pregnancy centers; originally categorized the pro-life film ‘Unplanned‘ as ‘propaganda;’ ditched an artificial intelligence advisory council after a conservative, pro-life black female leader was included on it; and has, via YouTube, suppressed Live Action’s pro-life message,” Live Action said.”

Read the entire article here and see Penny’s full statement.

Promoting Women in Peace Processes

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

CWA’s Dr. Shea Garrison, the organization’s Vice President of International Affairs, writes a new opinion piece featured this week in The Washington Times.

“There are many issues Democrats and Republicans disagree on, but elevating women in peace negotiations should certainly not be one of them.

Just a few weeks ago, the United States under the Trump administration became the first country in the world with a Women, Peace and Security (WPS) comprehensive law (2017) and strategy (2019) bringing women to the negotiating table in global peace efforts. This is something to be widely celebrated.

I have proudly worked with women across the aisle to train, support and empower women around the world — because ending poverty and violence against women, and increasing their participation and agency in all spheres of life should be a bipartisan issue everyone can get solidly behind.”

Click here to read the entire article here:

Click here for additional articles from Shea Garrison: