Shea Garrison, vice president of international affairs at Concerned Women for America (CWA), observed, “The idea of an ‘equal rights’ amendment sounds great for women who want equality and ‘empowerment.’ However, the ERA, as it is written, does not secure equal rights for women. Rather, it puts us at risk to lose the gains we’ve made in the past 50 years. Here’s why: It says ‘equality of rights … shall not be denied … on account of sex.’ So, it is true that restricting access to abortion could be seen as discrimination against women since abortion is only applicable to women. But it also could work the other way — a man could say any law or special policies on child care, marriage, alimony, etc., put in place to specifically protect women is discrimination against him. Private women-only spaces like sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, or domestic violence shelters could also be seen as a form of sex discrimination or violation of this amendment.”
“The bottom line,” Garrison explained, “is that this is bad policy that will hurt women, not give us equal rights. Women are already equal citizens under the law of the United States, and we will continue to use established law such as Amendment 14, Title IX, or the Equal Opportunity Act of 1963, etc., to wipe out any inequalities that we still may face.”
Calling the ERA “a war on women,” Concerned Women for America adds that this misguided amendment — if it were ever to be revived and passed — would:
- Wipe out all ability to use any laws using “sex” as a defining characteristic, therefore overturning workplace and family laws that protect women.
- Overturn privacy laws that define who may use men’s and women’s bathrooms and locker rooms.
- Attack religious-freedom laws in situations where faith-based groups recognize distinctions between the sexes, such as in women-only domestic violence shelters run by faith-based organizations.
- Be used to write abortion rights into our U.S. Constitution with the rationale that restricting access to abortion is a form of gender discrimination (since it singles out women for a physical trait unique to them).
- Affect Social Security, Medicare benefits, health-insurance benefits and more.
Penny Nance interview on Equal Rights Amendment, “ERA is about Taxpayer-funded abortion.”
Penny Nance segment on The 700 Club addressing the Equal Rights Amendment.Penny’s Interview begins after a story on ERA at time-code: 5 minutes (5:00)
Listen to the Bill Cunningham Podcast that features Penny Nance. Time-code: 98:00
“The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is dead.
The Department of Justice announced as much in January.
Even Justice Ginsburg, the “most prominent feminist lawyer in American history,” has said the ERA has missed its opportunity and proponents need to start from square one.
Still, House Democrats will play Dr. Frankenstein on Thursday as they try to resurrect the ERA monster. They’ve scheduled a vote to remove the 40-year-old deadline on the legislation’s ratification after Virginia became the 38th state to approve the amendment in January, sending hopeful politicians into a tizzy.
Concerned Women for America (CWA) — the organization I lead — was literally founded to fight the ERA 40 years ago. Our founder believed women deserve fairness and equality under the law and was determined to oppose the ERA because it effectively writes us out of it.
The ERA proposes “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” and that “Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”
Penny Nance, President and CEO of Concerned Women for America, shared her thoughts with Breitbart News on how President Donald Trump’s administration is actually benefitting women, unlike the media claims:
“The president and CEO of the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization says the economic policies of President Donald Trump, along with his judiciary nominees and protections for the unborn, are benefiting millions of women voters in America.
In a statement sent to Breitbart News, Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America (CWA) responded to former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards’ comment last week that if women show up at the polls in full force in November, it could be “game over” for Trump.
Richards, who turned America’s largest abortion business into a political powerhouse that has now pushed the Democrat Party leftward to fully embrace abortion on demand, told MSNBC that “58% of caucus goers in Iowa were women … If 58% of voters next fall are women, it’s game over.”
Richards told host Lawrence O’Donnell there is an “enormous divide” because the president “disrespects women and disrespects the Speaker,” and “repeatedly lies about the situation for women in this country.”
“That’s why you see women so motivated right now to be involved in politics and voting,” she added.
But, Nance says unequivocally, “Cecile Richards is wrong,” and explains:
President Trump is positively impacting the lives of millions of women. His administration has supported policies that have raised wages, lowered unemployment, cut taxes, confirmed fair judges for our judicial system, and protected the unborn. These are issues about which women care.
The Trump Administration’s actions to support women are bold and successful, and female conservative voters have taken notice and are giving him credit.”
By all accounts, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) should be dead. The 1979 ratification deadline passed 40-years ago three states short of ratification. Concerned Women for America was on the front lines with opponents who stopped this constitutional amendment to prohibit sex distinctions in law that ultimately would “ERAse” women. But that has not stopped modern attempts to resurrect it.
Three states passed the ERA in recent years to argue that passage by three-fourths of states (38) has now been reached. Virginia claimed its place as the 38th state this year. The U.S. Department of Justice issued a legal opinion in January that the ERA has expired by every legal measure. This bars any action by the National Archives to certify new states because the ratification has expired.
Nevertheless, proponents in Congress are seeking to pass legislation to remove the deadline believing they have the authority to airdrop the ERA into the Constitution. Their motivation is clear: the ERA would become a new constitutional right guaranteeing abortion on demand. For abortion advocates, the ERA is now about achieving Every Right to Abortion.
State-level ERAs have been used to require taxpayer-funded abortion
- In 1998, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the state ERA required the state to fund abortions since procedures sought by men, like prostate surgery, are funded. A lawsuit in Connecticut used similar arguments and achieved the same objective: full taxpayer-funded abortion.
- In 2019 Planned Parenthood and Women’s Law Center filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania arguing that Pennsylvania’s ERA means abortion must be included in medical coverage for women because men aren’t denied coverage for anything.
Abortion groups are actively campaigning to pass the ERA
- Proponents of the ERA today say ratification would enable courts to rule that any restrictions on abortion would “perpetuate gender inequality.” NARAL Pro-Choice America claims: “With its ratification, the ERA would reinforce the constitutional right to abortion…”
- In a 2019 letter to the House Judiciary Committee, the ACLU stated: “The Equal Rights Amendment could provide an addition [sic] layer of protection against restrictions on abortion, contraception, and other forms of reproductive healthcare.”
- The pro-ERA website, EqualRightsAmendment.org, explicitly states that ratifying the ERA into the U.S. Constitution would “provide a strong legal defense against a rollback of women’s rights (including but not limited to: Roe v. Wade…).”
Attempts to resurrect the ERA must be defeated
- ERA proponents see a new opportunity in a modern age to resurrect the ERA. Their efforts must be stopped. Any legislation seeking to amend the Constitution with an ERA must be defeated. Any legislator on the side of protecting life must oppose the ERA.
Click here for a printable PDF version.
On National Girls & Women in Sports Day, a coalition of organizations led by Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) representing hundreds of thousands of women and girls across America endorsed the Protecting Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020 (H.R. 5702) to ensure women’s sports under Title IX stop discriminating against female athletes.
The bill authored by Rep. Greg Steube (R-Florida) recognizes the discrimination against female athletes happening in women’s sports today when male athletes identifying as women take their place. Last year, Franklin Pierce University won an NCAA national title in women’s track with an athlete who had competed as a male for three previous years.
In a letter to members of Congress, the coalition, including CWALAC, Women’s Liberation Front, Independent Women’s Forum, Save Women’s Sports, Hands Across the Aisle Women in Coalition, and others, calls on Congress to pass H.R. 5702 swiftly to make clear that any school allowing male athletes to compete in sports for girls and women violates Title IX.
CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations, Doreen Denny, discusses her recent op-ed about how President Trump could impact women’s sports and that he “has all the tools he needs to defend women and girls and put an end to this unfairness.”
Listen from 10:55 – 18:20 to hear Doreen discuss this on the Rod Arquette show.
Read the full op-ed featured in CNS News here.
Washington, D.C. – This week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel announced an important opinion on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), declaring the ratification expired and no longer pending in the States for action. In a Memorandum for the General Counsel of the National Archives and Records Administration, DOJ declares dead any effort by Virginia to become the “38th” state as the new Democrat-controlled legislature pledged in its opening session. It also overrules congressional efforts to revive the ERA ratification by removing the deadline as proposed in legislation pending on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), had this to say in response to DOJ’s opinion:
“The Justice Department has hammered a nail in the coffin of state and congressional efforts to resurrect the age-old Equal Rights Amendment. DOJ’s opinion declaring the ratification dead underscores what even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has already concluded: if the ERA has any future, the process must start over.
“Concerned Women for America says, “R.I.P ERA.” Women deserve fairness and equality under the law, but Congress should not waste its time on an ERA that could in fact undermine the progress we’ve made over the last 40 years. If legislators are truly concerned about women, they should spend their efforts focusing on measures to uphold the dignity and status of women as uniquely female, not turn back the clock on gains we’ve made and ERAse women.”
See some of CWA staff’s recent tireless efforts nationally and in local areas combatting the ERA:
Washington, DC — Today the Trump Administration announced a final rulemaking that restores congressional intent in Obamacare to keep any coverage of abortion-related services separate from premiums for health care services.
Section 1303 of the Affordable Care Act is now clarified to require that an abortion surcharge be collected separately from health care premiums. The Trump Administration is reversing the Obama-era guidance that allowed payments to be made together in one bill. The Department of Health and Human Services will now require that these payments be clearly separated and transparent.
Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee made the following statement:
“This final rule is a win for accountability to the law and a clear message that abortion is not to be confused with health care. Concerned Women for America and many of our members commented in favor of this important rule change demanding transparency in Obamacare.
“Concerned Women for America continues to fight against any federal funds or programs being used to promote or pay for abortion. The Trump Administration has made further progress in its commitment to protecting life with this important rule change to Obamacare. We thank President Trump for his pro-life promise to keep government programs and rules accountable to the American taxpayer.”
“What’s happening right now in college sports should be a wakeup call to all American women. Title IX is under attack, and women’s sports are being compromised. Repeat assaults make a federal response all the more urgent.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights notified Concerned Women for America that it has opened an investigation into our complaint that Franklin Pierce University has violated Title IX by permitting male transgender athletes to compete on women’s teams. This is the first federal investigation of its kind in college sports.
Title IX is a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Every school in America receiving federal funds, K-12 through college, is required to follow Title IX law prohibiting sex discrimination. Sex has never been defined as anything but male and female.”
Human Rights Day is a yearly celebration to remember the importance and necessity of the protection of unalienable rights.
Today we call for the end of violence against women and girls and the protection of their basic human rights.
Concerned Women for America at the White House. CWA CEO and President, Penny Nance, wearing one of the historic sashes, is a member of the bi-partisan Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission. To commemorate the 100th year anniversary of women’s right to vote, a coin with some of the amazing women suffragists will be minted. Penny Nance joined President Trump in a Signing Ceremony for H.R. 2423, The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act.
These photos are official White House Photos by Tia Dufour of the signing of The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act.
Concerned Women for America opposes funding abortion oversees.
Another Christmas shutdown looms over Capitol Hill. This week a Continuing Resolution moved the spending expiration deadline to December 20. This delay does not remedy serious and real problems in the appropriations process, like the Senate FY 2020 State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill that would undermine pro-life gains made by the Trump Administration.
The Shaheen Amendment, offered by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), increases funding for programs that have been used to support the abortion industry and advocacy overseas. The amendment was disturbingly included in the SFOPS bill passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. While the SFOPS bill has not gone to the floor for a vote, avoidance of the Shaheen Amendment is not a solution. Something must be done to remove it from the FY 2020 spending bill and ensure it doesn’t get passed in the commotion of avoiding a Christmas government shutdown.
Thankfully, President Trump issued a letter in January promising to veto any bills that weaken current pro-life policies which is exactly what the Shaheen Amendment would do. Her amendment also violates the conditions of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement agreed to by both parties that prohibits “poison pill” provisions from being included.
The Shaheen Amendment undermines the strong pro-life polices of this administration, specifically President Trump’s executive order creating Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA), commonly known as the Mexico City policy. Every year, Sen. Shaheen attempts to strike PLGHA from the SFOPS Appropriations bill. This year she offered a backdoor approach to undermine the policy. The amendment circumvents PLGHA by directly increasing funding to the family planning/reproductive healthcare account that funds domestic groups that fund abortion overseas. Furthermore, it directly increases funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which is a well-known advocate of abortion.
And there’s more. The Shaheen Amendment sets up a mechanism that could be used to advance sexual orientation and gender identity ideology and discriminate against pro-life and/or faith-based groups preventing them from receiving contracts.
This week, CWA joined with other prolife organizations in sending a letter to President Trump thanking him for his commitment to protect life and urging him to make clear to Congress that he opposes the Shaheen Amendment. We believe the President stands with us and will uphold his veto promise to oppose any spending bill that compromises pro-life policy or uses taxpayer funds to prop up the abortion industry.
But we need your help to back up opposition to the Shaheen Amendment in Congress.
Please take a moment to send a note to your elected officials asking them to reject the Shaheen Amendment in the FY 2020 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. We have a message ready for you to send directly to your senators and member of Congress, with the option to personalize it, if you so choose. Go to our Action Center today and let them know you don’t want your tax-dollars funding abortion at home or overseas. Say no to the Shaheen Amendment.
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.
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.”
“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.”
CWA’s CEO and President, Penny Nance appeared on Allie Beth Stuckey’s Relatable Podcast for a discussion about what’s happening in the Supreme Court that matters to women, Christians, and defenders of religious liberty.
Click on the red/white Arrow above to watch the Podcast.
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.
CWA’s Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison, appeared on One America News to discuss her recent opinion piece about first daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her qualifications to lead women’s empowerment around the world.