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Thanksgiving, the anthem of our nation

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Thanksgiving is deeply embedded in the historical framework of this great nation. While the first Thanksgivings were celebrated by both Virginia and Massachusetts settlers in the New World, November 26, 1789, was the first official Thanksgiving Day. President George Washington set that day apart for the nation to give thanks, and the presidents to follow continued the tradition.

However, it was President Abraham Lincoln who issued the Thanksgiving Day proclamation which prompted the holiday we know and love today.

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity, and union.”

It was a proclamation made on October 3, 1863 — almost exactly in the middle of the Civil War. In a period of time when our nation was most deeply divided and the American spirit of unity was in tatters, our leader asked us to give thanks. As brother fought against brother, our president asked us to set aside a day to recognize the Lord’s deliverance and blessings. It was in the midst of that darkness that President Lincoln implored the nation to come together in prayer for peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

It’s striking to me that we hold elections in the same month as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Was it purposeful, the timing of those two events? Elections, whether they should be or not, can be so deeply divisive. But we have a built-in reminder, just three weeks later, to put it all aside and give thanks.

So this month, as we move past an election cycle and on to Thanksgiving, choose unity, prayer, and thankfulness. Set aside time to thank God for His deliverances and blessings. Bow with humble penitence for our national disobedience. Commend to our Father in Heaven every American who has become a widow, orphan, mourner, or sufferer this year. Implore our Savior to heal the wounds of our nation and restore peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

 

Billionaires Find New Ways to Push for Abortion on Demand

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

Below are excerpts from a very interesting article by Dave Andrusko at National Right to Life. I commend it to you in its entirety. I think it is important for Concerned Women for America (CWA) members to realize what we are up against when it comes to protecting the sanctity of every human life at every level of public policy. Andrusko discusses the new ways certain billionaires are restructuring their donations in order to get around current IRS regulations and fund abortion on demand to an even bigger extent than they have before.

Even though the American people are against the abortion extremism we have seen in laws coming out New York, Virginia, and Illinois, these mega donors are committed to drowning out their voices by pouring in millions of dollars more in the name of “reproductive health.”

Over the years, pro-lifers have read story after story about billionaires pouring millions upon millions of their virtually limitless resources into advancing abortion both at home and abroad. Their favorite beneficiary is, of course, Planned Parenthood (and International Planned Parenthood) but there are many others.

The names are familiar and a who’s who of big time philanthropy. George Soros and his Open Society Institute (OPI); The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named after Warren Buffett’s late wife; and the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, run by the heirs of one of the founders of printer manufacturer Hewlett Packard, to name just three heavyweights.

Another name that has cropped up with less attention paid to it is the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. A quick look back (thanks to the indispensable web.archive.org) we read this description: “Laura and John established the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in 2008. They believe philanthropy should be transformational and should seek through innovation to solve persistent problems in society.”

According to influencewatch.org, “The foundation focuses on criminal justice, education issues, public pensions, dietary policy, and scientific research reform.” But whatever other initiatives are funded, if you look at their giving (corporate and personal), you see bundles going to the usual pro-abortion suspects.

For example, under “personal advocacy and political contributions,” between December 2015 and December 2017, we find Planned Parenthood Action Fund [under the category $5,000,000 to $9,999,999] and “Planned Parenthood Texas Vote” [under the category $100,000 to $499,999].

Under “Charitable Contributions” for the same time period

  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America [$5,000,000 to $9,999,999]
  • Center for Reproductive Rights [$1,000,000-$4,999,999]
  • Guttmacher Institute [$1, 000,000-$4,999,999]
  • National Network of Abortion Funds [$50,000-$99,999]

Back to the Laura and John Arnold Foundation itself and recent major changes.

In January, writing at Inside Philanthropy, David Callahan observed “But those who closely follow the billionaire couple behind this operation know that they’ve long engaged in political giving alongside their foundation’s grantmaking. …Now, the Arnolds are bringing their philanthropy and political giving together in a new limited-liability corporation called Arnold Ventures. The goal is to create a more integrated push for impact on the wide range of public policy issues that have long animated the couple.”

When you go to the list of “public policy issues” at Arnold Ventures, you see “health,” which includes a link to a story headlined, “State lawmakers pass trio of reproductive-rights bills.”

In the first sentence, Jennifer Henderson writes about New York’s “Reproductive Health Act,” which she inaccurately describes are merely a law “to protect reproductive rights and abortion access even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.” As we have written dozens of times at NRL News Today, the RHA not only went miles beyond Roe v. Wade, it also eliminated the state’s protections for abortion survivors.

Callahan’s story—“When Philanthropy Is Not Enough: A Top Donor Couple Takes a Broader Approach to Impact” —is telling not only about the ambitions of the Arnolds but also other billionaires who eagerly fund abortion groups. He writes, “Some of today’s savviest mega-givers strategically blend philanthropic and political giving.” Callahan dubbed them “hybrid entities.”

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

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Having been born on June 6, D-Day, I have always had an affinity for that day in our history.  This year during the 75th anniversary year of D-Day, I was privileged to stand on Omaha Beach and Utah Beach where thousands of U.S. troops landed, and many died, to begin the liberation of Europe.  As you look at the pictures from that day, you see the young faces and realize that these were young men who willing made the decision to go into battle knowing that they might not return.  But yet they appreciated and loved the freedoms they had been given, and they were willing to go to a foreign place and protect those freedoms for other people.  I looked at those pictures with sadness knowing the sacrifices that had been made, yet at the same time I wanted to stand up and cheer because of the choices they made, and the results of those choices that we see around us 75 years later not only here in the United States but in France and across Europe.  I praise God for the men of our nation who made those hard choices and went willingly into the fray.  I walked away reminded once again that God has created in men a unique courage that enables them to stand against overwhelming odds and walk into the danger.

The inscription around the memorial chapel at the American Military Cemetery at Omaha Beach says it so beautifully: “These endured all and gave all that Justice among nations might prevail and that mankind might enjoy freedom and inherit peace.”

Thank you, Lord, for men and women, past and present, who will stand in harm’s way to protect the freedoms that You have given to us.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.  Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”  General George S. Patton

House Votes on (In)Equality Act and Rejects Efforts to Save Women’s Sports

By | Blog, Defense of Family, Feminist / Women's Issues, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Social / Cultural Issues | No Comments

Last week, the House passed H.R. 5, the deceptively-named “Equality Act” by a vote of 236-173.  By redefining the term sex to include “sexual orientation and gender identity” in civil rights law, this bill elevates “gender identity” over the protected class of sex as male and female, giving any person the right to claim “gender identity” as the opposite sex at any time.  This sounds absurd, but the bill strips women from any protection from men who would identify as women in bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s shelters, sports competition, and more.

Before final passage, Republicans attempted to expose the threats to female athletes with a “motion to recommit with instructions.” A motion to recommit (MTR) is a procedural vote that would send the bill back to the relevant House committee with instructions on changes that should be made.  If an MTR is successful, a vote on final passage would be delayed until the committee fixes the bill and sends it back to the whole House for consideration.

The so-called Equality Act effectively erases women’s sports by opening up any competition to biological men who identify as women. The MTR for H.R. 5 was very narrowly tailored to amend the bill to ensure that nothing may be construed to weaken any protections under Title IX to ensure female athletes have equal opportunity.  This would have at least safeguarded the integrity of girls’ and women’s sports. Negating Title IX in the so-called “Equality Act” is a deep flaw in the bill, acknowledged by people across the political spectrum.  Unfortunately, the MTR was rejected along party lines by a vote of 181-228.

The need to protect female sports is not a hypothetical situation; the unfair playing field is happening already because of similar state and local laws. Selina Soule, a high school track athlete in Connecticut, lost her chance to compete in the New England championship this year after two biological males took first and second place in the 55-meter dash. This week, CeCe Telfer, who previously competed as a male, has stolen an opportunity for a female athlete to compete in the 100 and 400-meter hurdles in the NCAA Division II Women’s Track and Field Championships.

The so-called Equality Act’s unverifiable and unscientific attempt to address discrimination by elevating protections for certain groups on the basis of a new definition of sex is a direct threat against every woman in America.  Its effects are nothing less than extreme, far-reaching, and uncontainable and the gutting of Title IX is just one of these effects. Supporters have no way of defending the “Equality Act” against these threats to women even though basic common sense makes it obvious to most people. It’s a shame 228 House members blindly jumped on the bandwagon.

At this time, the Senate has no plans to take up the bill. However, 46 Senators, almost half the Senate, are cosponsors of the identical Senate bill. It remains a threat that must be opposed.

The Washington Examiner Opinion Piece: Debasing Women’s Rights at UN with Same Old Mantra

By | Blog, News and Events, United Nations | No Comments

CWA’s Shea Garrison, the organization’s vice president of international affairs, writes in a new opinion piece: “The use of rape as a method of war is one of the most egregious acts of domination and debasement of women that the world has ever seen. Supporting a United Nations resolution to stand against this cruel crime is something that all international organizations can get behind to honor and elevate women.

Insisting that abortion language is included in these resolutions is not. It is a worn-out political agenda masquerading as the promotion of women’s rights — just because you repeat something over and over.

See the entire piece here:

Easter and the Promise of Redemption

By | Blog, Religious Liberty | No Comments

In this Easter season, I have been thinking about the importance of redemption. Over the years, by virtue of circulation in political circles, I have known personally some people involved in public scandals. The world watches as the media follows them relentlessly for days, weeks, or even months and then evaporates, leaving behind a scene of complete and utter self-inflicted personal destruction. Some of these folks are often distraught to the point of suicide.

What the cameras don’t show is what happens after the hoopla dies down. Sometimes these folks turn inward and become bitter and permanently broken, but not always. The untold stories are the others, the ones who are open to healing and saving grace.

I had the privilege of reflecting on redemption not long ago through the eyes of a woman whose husband was recently the object of a very public humiliation. She spoke about the many, many acts of love and compassion that have been shown to their family.

Members of a local church congregation have come forward to help in tangible ways, but also by sharing their own stories of brokenness and the healing of Christ’s forgiveness and restoration. One woman texted my friend, “Call me, I can help you: signed a survivor of an international sex scandal.”

No one likes to remember their past mistakes, but when they are viewed in the context of sins atoned for by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross then they become only a chapter of a story of victory and healing, not the last chapter. In most cases, the final story is much more important than the earlier narrative.

I was shocked recently when my daughter confessed distaste at the fact that my dear friend and mentor, Chuck Colson, served time in prison.

My husband and I both laughed as she stared at us in confusion.

Taking advantage of a teachable moment, we were then able to point out to her that Colson’s disgrace led him to the foot of the Cross, and from there he has become one of the greatest Christian heroes of our time.

Without the public brokenness, Colson would have never become the man that God has used to minister to literally millions of people, many of whom are or were in prison.

That’s called Grace, and it is at the crux of the Easter story.

As Christians, we believe that Christ, the Son of God, died specifically not for “the righteous, but sinners.” Who is a sinner? Well, all of us. Every single one of us who has ever been unkind, lied, or been disobedient. Yes, all of it counts. He was the only sinless man ever born, and yet, He stepped in to take our punishment and, in the process, conquered sin and ultimately death. He rose to new life and indeed, through his atonement, offers a clean slate before a Holy God. That’s what Easter is all about.

I know it’s interesting to read and watch bad people “get theirs” or to even feel a sense of self-righteousness perhaps watching the lives of Hollywood elites and political figures come crashing down because of bad choices and dishonesty. But we need to remember that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

I stand with countless other broken humans over the millennia who claim Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. He is risen for all the people caught in scandals, and for those who were never caught, and for those who are just plain broken. I, like the Apostle Paul, stand with the sinners “of whom I am the chief.”

Jesus on the Cross took the punishment I deserve for my sins and now because of His resurrection I stand forgiven by His grace. He will do the same for you as He has done for other sinners just like us. He is risen indeed!

 

Congressional Hearings on the So-Called “Equality Act” Expose True Threats to Women and Girls

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

Congress is debating the “Equality Act,” a top-ten priority of Speaker Pelosi (D-California) and House Democrats.  It would enshrine “gender identity” as a protected trait in federal civil rights law.  This denies the biological, scientific fact that being male or female is inscribed in our DNA and determines our sex.  Self-declared “gender identity” would be sufficient to claim protected legal status as either sex.  Simply put, “Whatever I claim to be, I am.”  Such claims could be fluid, because gender-related identity and characteristics could be changed at any time.

CWA recently received a call from a public-school mom in Georgia whose daughter faced a transgender in track competition who won uncontested.  Her concerns were dismissed by the National Organization for Women and the Women’s Sport’s Foundation when she called them thinking they would be fighting for women’s rights.  Not so.  Thankfully she found us.  Here’s what this mom had to say in a letter submitted at the House Judiciary Committee hearing:

“To say that my daughter, as well as the other female athletes, were humiliated and had a sense of defeatism is an understatement.  In the words of my daughter, ‘What’s the point Mom, we can’t win.’  Hearing this broke my heart, for my daughter and for all the female athletes, who train so hard, but no matter how hard they work and train they will never be able to beat a biological male. … What are we doing to our girls by forcing them to race biological males?”

At the hearing, Congressman Gaetz (R-Florida) asked, “If President Trump were to say, ‘I am now the first female president,’ who would celebrate that? Would those who support this legislation think that’s a good thing?”

Advocates have no response to the legitimacy of that question.  More importantly, they are denying the threat of this policy to women and girls.  I was in the hearing room and, frankly, was shocked to hear how women, who are 51% of the U.S. population, are now an afterthought for those promoting the trans agenda.  They are not fighting for females anymore.

In 2016, Sports Illustrated showcased female candidates who were college athletes, including Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, both cosponsors of the Equality Act.  They said how playing competitive sports prepared, and propelled, them into politics.  “It took the fear out of losing,” said Gillibrand, now a presidential candidate.

The testimonies in this article make the case that reducing opportunities for female college athletes could reduce the number of women running for office.  Is that what Democrats want?

Supporters have no way of defending the Equality Act against these threats to women and girls, even though basic common sense makes it obvious to most people.  Many proponents have blindly jumped on the bandwagon – it’s time they consider the impact.  Women will lose, which is why we need you to get active and oppose the Equality Act.

Contact your congressman and senator today, and tell them to oppose the (In)Equality Act!

Abortion at 20 Weeks Takes the Senate Stage

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

Since Roe v. Wade, technology has changed our understanding of preborn life, and we need to face the truth on this issue: unborn children do feel pain. Science and medicine have no issue acknowledging this. While some preborn children are administered anesthesia during necessary surgery in utero, others have their limbs ripped from their bodies in a late-term dismemberment abortion with no anesthesia or regard for suffering. Read More

Shame on Google for dissolving its AI council over African-American leader Kay Coles James

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

Women across the political perspective applauded recently when Kay Coles James, the first woman and the first African-American to lead the conservative and respected Heritage Foundation, was chosen to join Google’s new external advisory council to in part discuss the ethics of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Our joy lasted barely a week when, in reaction to internal pressure from incensed employees, she was ousted via the dissolution of the council.

As shocking as this may be, it is illustrative of the culture at Google, where over 1,000 Google employees took the time to sign a petition calling for James’ removal. Leaked email exchanges reported by Breitbart News show employees accused her of “transphobia” and “homophobia.” They accused her of viewing the LGBT community as “subhuman” and in support of “exterminationist” views.


Editor’s note: This article was published by Fox News. Click here to read it.

Saving Money Shouldn’t Mean Hurting Grandma

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

Concerned Women for America (CWA) has always fought to protect life from its beginning at conception until natural death. A recent hospital stay and subsequent medical care for my 80-year-old mother has served as a wakeup call to the particular vulnerability of the elderly.

With this top of mind while caring for her in Tennessee, I was struck and surprised when I learned via a TV ad about a new proposed government regulation which is particularly onerous for seniors. Read More

House Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Disappoints, Fails to Protect Women

By | Blog, Defense of Family, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

This week, the House passed a reauthorization bill of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), but this bill falls short and fails to accomplish its namesake goalFrom its inception, the purpose of VAWA has been to protect, support, and seek justice for women who have suffered assault or abuse. CWALAC fully supports that mission. The goal of the current VAWA reauthorization efforts should advance these objectives, not compromise them. The reauthorization must address misguided efforts to go beyond the scope of VAWA, which represent a fundamental threat to the privacy and safety of women and girls. Unfortunately, the House-passed version of VAWA ignores and even exacerbates the current problems with the VAWA law  Read More

The House Makes Unprecedented Moves on Born Alive

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

On Tuesday, Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) filed a discharge petition for H.R. 962, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. A discharge petition is a way to bring a bill to the floor that is otherwise being blocked by the Speaker, if the majority (218) of representatives agree and sign. On every legislative day since the bill’s introduction, Members have asked Speaker Pelosi for a vote on H.R. 962. This has now occurred 29 times.

On the first day, the discharge petition was ready for signatures, 193 representatives signed; this record-setting number is the most representatives to ever sign a discharge petition on the first day. On Wednesday, five additional members joined, bringing the tally to 198 signatures. We only need twenty more signatures to force Speaker Pelosi to put this bill on the floor for a vote. To find out if your representative has signed, please click here.

CWALAC joined representatives on Tuesday outside of the Capitol at a press conference in support of Born Alive and watched from the House gallery as members lined up to sign the discharge petition. We also attended the Virginia March for Life in Richmond on Wednesday, where many of the speakers highlighted the radical statements of Virginia Governor Northam (D) that sparked the Born Alive debate.

Born Alive is about stopping infanticide, not restricting or regulating abortion. We should all agree that once born, a newborn child is a patient and deserves protection. This is a reflection on our humanity. Recent polling shows that 82% of Americans, including 77% of pro-choice Americans, support protections for children born alive after an attempted abortion. This is not at all the radical bill the Democrats are portraying.

Please call your representative today and ask him/her to sign the discharge petition for H.R. 962, the Born Alive Abortion Survivor’s Protection Act. Click here to make that call.

 

Don’t be fooled ladies — the Equality Act is a threat to all of us

By | Blog, Defense of Family, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

How can people like Ginni Rometty, the first female CEO of IBM, so easily jump on the bandwagon of the so-called Equality Act and fail to see its obvious threats to women?

The Equality Act, which would amend existing federal civil rights laws (including the Civil Rights Act of 1964) to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics, seeks to erase the understood binary definition of sex as male or female, and enshrine a new definition of sex that includes a person’s perception of his or herself – not the actual chromosomal DNA that identifies his or her true sex.  [More …]


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was published by Fox News. Click here to read it.

Abortion is Not an International Right

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, United Nations | No Comments

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 63) came to an end this week at the United Nations in New York City. News reports warn that the U.S. seeks to decrease the rights of women and girls by taking away an international “right” to abortion in UN resolutions. Based mainly on propaganda from far-left political interest groups, this information is inaccurate and misleading.

The U.S. has long been a leader in policies and aid supporting the expansion of women’s rights around the world. Under the Trump administration alone, major initiatives have been launched in three sectors where the advancement of female equality is sorely needed increasing economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, increasing diplomatic and security participation and decreasing the technological or “digital divide” of women and girls. Research shows that women and girls face inequalities in all of these areas and initiatives like this can elevate women by targeting the main challenges they face. In addition, these initiatives reflect the strategic objectives of gender empowerment goals.

In contrast, the promotion of a so-called “right to abortion” that dominates liberal narratives at the UN does none of these. … [Read More Online at The Hill]

Secretary Pompeo Continues to Remove U.S. Taxpayer Funds Used for Abortion Overseas

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced further implementation of the Mexico City Policy to protect “more unborn babies around the world than ever before” and enforce President Trump’s commitment to stop U.S. taxpayers from funding abortion overseas.

In January 2017, President Trump’s executive action restored and extended the original 1984 Mexico City Policy to prohibit any organization which promotes or performs abortions in other countries from receiving U.S. global health funds. Today, Sec. Pompeo announced that the U.S. will also no longer fund organizations who subcontract with or provide financial assistance to other organizations in the global abortion industry. In addition, he announced the State Department will enforce the Siljander amendment to the 1982 Foreign Assistance and Related Programs Appropriations Act which prohibits tax dollars from being used to lobby for or against abortion. This announcement will directly reduce funding to the Organization of American States (OAS) in proportion to its expenditures on abortion-related activities.

Penny Nance, President and CEO of Concerned Women for America, and Dr. Shea Garrison, Vice President of International Affairs for CWA, responded to Sec. Pompeo’s announcement:

“Secretary Pompeo’s announcement confirms the proud pro-life stance of this administration and their commitment to ensuring that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to promote or subsidize the killing of unborn children around the world. Today’s announcement closes two gaping backdoor loopholes that organizations continue to use to get around the funding limitations of President Trump’s expansion of the Mexico City Policy.
“The U.S. has shown we can continue to meet the most critical health care needs for women while refusing to pay for the killing of unborn babies. This is consistent with the moral beliefs of most governments around the world and strengthens U.S.-foreign relations. In addition, women’s rights and health care can be better served through more focused assistance to alleviate the main challenges women face around the world — including in maternal health and mortality.
“We are thankful for Sec. Pompeo’s continued actions to implement the administration’s pro-life policies to the broadest extent possible. As Sec. Pompeo said: ‘This is a policy that is designed fundamentally to protect human beings … this is decent, this is right.’ We are proud to stand behind an administration that protects the most vulnerable among us.”

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is the legislative arm of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with members across the country, over 450 Prayer/Action Chapters and Home Teams, 600 trained leaders, and over 30 years of service to our nation. For more information visit www.concernedwomen.org 

Promoting Fiscally-Responsible Parental Leave Plans

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

Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have put forward an innovative plan for paid parental leave. The CRADLE Act would allow parents to receive up to three months paid parental leave in a fiscally-responsible way. Instead of creating a new entitlement program, as many on the left have suggested, the CRADLE Act is an opt-in program that allows working parents to access Social Security benefits for up to three months and then subsequently postpone the activation of their Social Security benefits by two months for every one month of parental leave taken. This plan has no impact on the Social Security Trust Fund, is budget-neutral, and the benefit would be calculated using the existing Social Security disability formula. There are other safeguards to assure this program would not be used in conjunction with any employer-paid leave program and would only be used in conjunction with a birth or an adoption.   

Paid parental leave proposals like the CRADLE Act give moms and dads the ability to stay at home with their newborns or adopted children during the crucial first few months. The CRADLE Act is one among similar, fiscally responsible, pro-family, conservative plans to address paid family leave. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Missouri), along with Sen. Rubio (R-Florida), proposed legislation last Congress to address paid family leave in a similar fashion and plan on introducing similar plans again this Congress. 

Paid parental leave has many societal and familial benefits, including greater workforce attachment, better child and maternal health outcomes, and increased parental engagement. However, the costs of a government mandate are often far greater than the benefits. Governmentmandated leave programs like the liberals’ FAMILY ACT put a strain on businesses, particularly small businesses, and make women of childbearing age less appealing to hire. Additionally, new entitlements irresponsibly pile on to our already crushing national debt. Many businesses know and understand the importance of these benefits to their workforce and offer their employees paid parental leave. For those parents who are not so fortunate, plans like this would bridge the gap without hurting seniors or enacting a new fiscally disastrous entitlement. 

Conservative plans like the Wagner-Rubio and the Ernst-Lee proposals reach a good balance of incorporating fiscal concerns with the benefits of paid parental leave. New parents need new avenues of support, but our nation cannot afford a new government-mandated entitlement program 

 

Deep in the Heart of Texas

By | Blog, Defense of Family, Texas | No Comments

For the ninth time during a session of the Texas Legislature, Concerned Women for America of Texas hosted “Dinner with Texas Legislators.”  This year, seventeen Texas legislators participated in the program on Tuesday evening, March 12, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Austin.

Each legislator had a moment at the mic to speak to the gathering about issues important in the current session.  Several spoke of CWA’s current prayer campaign to encourage legislators during the session.

Rep. Bill Zedler, long-time advocate for life and family values in the Texas Legislature, was awarded the 2019 CWA Family Advocate Award.  Mrs. Pat Hanson, who was the South Texas Area Director was commended for many years of service before her retirement. Lastly, Dr. Shea Garrison, Vice President of International Affairs for CWA, was the dinner’s keynote speaker and addressed gender identity issues confronting women and their families in the current culture.

Several young women who are part of Young Women for America’s leadership on Texas college campuses were present. The dinner preceded the subsequent day’s rally at the capitol, where several hundred participated in visiting with legislators about Faith-and-Family issues.

CWA at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women

By | Blog, Defense of Family, International, United Nations | No Comments

This week, government delegates and non-governmental organizations from all over the world met in NYC at the United Nations for the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63).

Concerned Women for America (CWA) sponsored a side-event panel on Friday, March 15, with the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam) titled, “Putting Women and Girls Back at the Center of Gender Equality Policies.” The event focused on the importance of promoting the empowerment of women and girls with effective and holistic, culturally appropriate, family-centered measurements.

Our Dr. Shea Garrison, VP of International Affairs at CWA, spoke about “Focused Economic Empowerment” and used her own research and experience training women entrepreneurs around the world to recommend well-rounded strategies and measurements that most effectively empower women and their families.

Also on the panel was Dr. Rebecca Oas from C-Fam, Emilie Kao from the Heritage Foundation, and Sharon Slater from Family Watch International.

WIN: Trump on College Campuses

By | Blog, YWA | No Comments

CWA CEO Penny Nance with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

President Trump signed an executive order to protect free speech on college campuses today. Because of our Young Women for America chapters and efforts across the country, we were asked to be there when he signed it! Our YWA leaders have been effected by, and watched first-hand, the attack on the First Amendment on college campuses. Because of YOU we have a seat at the table to promote constitutional principles and fight for the future of America. We are thankful for the President’s commitment to ensuring that the rights of every student be protected.

President Trump promised that “agencies will take appropriate steps to ensure that college and university campuses are places of free thought and debate.” The Trump administration believes that “public schools should fulfill their obligation to uphold the First Amendment,” and “schools should be transparent about their speech policies.”

He also discussed information transparency and student loan debt. Read the executive order here.

Strengthened Debbie Smith Act Introduced in Senate

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

On Thursday, Senator Cornyn (R-Texas) and Senator Feinstein (R-California) introduced the Debbie Smith Act of 2019, a bill that would reauthorize funding aimed at increasing capacity for DNA testing to reduce the rape kit backlog. The Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act was first signed into law in 2004 in response to the story of Debbie Smith, a rape victim who only saw justice because of DNA evidence and testing.

Last July, CWALAC CEO and President Penny Nance testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on her experience as an attempted rape victim and why we must work to end the backlog. Unfortunately, after fifteen years since the inception of the Debbie Smith Act and over $1 billion spent, an unknown number of rape kits still sit untested in evidence rooms across the country. Meanwhile, the statute of limitations ticks on with no resolution for victims.

CWALAC partnered with RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) on specific improvements to the Debbie Smith Act, introduced by Sen. Cornyn, that would increase prioritization of rape kit testing and improve accountability in tracking the backlog of sexual assault cases. A recent New York Times piece highlighted Maisha Sudbeck, a rape victim who saw justice years after her assault only because of funds prioritized through programs to clear the backlog. Ms. Sudbeck cited the testing of her rape kit as “a catalyst for hope.”

Not only is testing these kits a crucial step in pursuing justice for victims and possible exoneration for the wrongfully accused, it often shows patterns of assault and can take serial perpetrators off the street. Ms. Sudbeck’s kit showed a hit for a man who had raped at least six other women. This phenomenon is far from uncommon. One study found that about half of the DNA kits tested resulted in hits for serial offenders. In her Senate Judiciary testimony, Penny stated, “We must push ourselves until each sexual assault kit is accounted for and every last one is processed — because every kit represents a brave woman waiting for justice.” CWALAC will continue to work with Congress to ensure this crucial legislation is passed, so that every victim has the chance for justice.


See Penny’s letter to cosponsors.