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Legislative Updates

U.S. House Barrels Through Trump Impeachment

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Despite a plea by many to focus on a peaceful transition of power and warnings against fomenting further political upheaval following the unconscionable violence at the U.S. Capitol, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) stoked the flames of impeachment this week to punish the departing president.  The House passed two resolutions, the first ordering Vice President Mike Pence to convene a meeting of the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution and declare the sitting president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

In a letter of response to Speaker Pelosi, Vice President Pence responded that with just eight days left in his term, “I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.” The Vice President urged the Speaker and every member of Congress to “avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment” and to work together to “unite the country.”

A second resolution was introduced for the purpose of “Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.” Two hours of debate was equally divided between the parties, and a vote on the resolution passed 232-197 with ten Republicans joining the Democrats in favor of the impeachment resolution.

Meanwhile, political punishment and retribution were aggressively directed at members of Congress who opposed the certification of electors in particular states over serious irregularities in the election process. Concerned Women for America (CWA) CEO and President Penny Nance joined conservative leaders in calling out the “opportunistic attempts by some to use last week’s events as a pretext to dismiss legitimate concerns about election irregularities, and illegal and unconstitutional actions.”

In their memo titled Cruz, Hawley, Brooks, and colleagues follow the Constitution,” Nance and leaders of the Conservative Action Project denounce the attack on the Capitol but defend the constitutional mandate of Congress:

“Conservatives condemn the violent actions that took place at the United States Capitol last week. Our self-government is founded upon the rule of law, and violence as a form of protest is never acceptable. Unlike most Democrats, we condemned the violent actions of rioters over the summer. We condemn the recent violence with equal vigor.

“But one thing is also clear: the actions of 8 Senators and 139 House members, including Sen. Josh Hawley, Sen. Ted Cruz, and many others, who intended to or did debate the certification of certain states’ 2020 electors is not, and never will be, tantamount to violence. The right and ability to object to electoral certification is written into the Constitution and housed in the procedural rights of those who represent us.”

The timeline for what happens next is unresolved and is anyone’s guess. Under the Constitution, the House is required to transmit formally the impeachment resolution to the Senate. The Senate is required to hold a trial with House managers bringing the charges against the president and the president’s defense responding to the charges. But President Trump will no longer be president as of noon on January 20.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he will not call the Senate back before its scheduled return on January 19 since time does not allow for a serious trial to be conducted before Inauguration Day. After that point, a new party will control the reins of the U.S. Senate, and a new president will occupy the White House. It will be incumbent on them to determine the path forward.  Will they choose to work to unite the country or to continue stoking the flames of political division?

Follow Through on Final Actions will Provide Foundation for Future Battles

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The Trump Administration has taken several important actions in the final weeks of office that will provide an important foundation of policy, fact, and analysis as we anticipate the battleground defining the policy agenda of the next administration. Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) was directly engaged in contributing to, commenting on, and advocating for these policy actions:

  1. HHS “Keep Kids First” Rule. HHS issued a final rule to protect faith-based adoption and foster care agencies that ensures federal grants are in line with nondiscrimination statutes and long-standing religious liberty protections. The final rule follows the rule of law, correcting the activism of the Obama administration that imposed new categories of sex discrimination on grantees and sidelined many faith-based adoption and foster care providers. HHS’s action aims to protect the ability of Christian adoption and foster care providers to participate in grant programs and maintain their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It also asserts the government’s responsibility to adhere to federal statutes as passed by Congress and relevant Supreme Court decisions, not pursue an activist expansion of civil rights laws.
  1. Bostock and Title IX. The U.S. Department of Education Office of General Counsel issued a concise directive to the Office for Civil Rights for how the Bostock decision relates to its authority under Title IX. The Question & Answer document, which was sent to over 56,000 education entities across the country, is an official legal analysis that will require a new administration to reckon with its facts before taking any action to impose a new definition of “sex” on schools. The directive asserts, “The Department’s longstanding construction of the term ‘sex’ in Title IX to mean biological sex, male or female, is the only construction consistent with the ordinary public meaning of ’sex’ at the time of Title IX’s enactment.” It makes clear that Bostock does not overrule biological sex with “gender identity” under Title IX and that schools must ensure equal opportunities and benefits in athletics and facilities for women and girls on the basis of biological sex.
  1. Fetal Tissue Research Rulemaking. HHS initiated a rulemaking to govern fetal tissue research conducted by outside researchers as the final step in its promised actions to end unethical research using aborted babies. The proposed rule, “Establishment of Safeguards and Program Integrity Requirements for Health and Human Services-Funded Extramural Research Involving Human Fetal Tissue,” has entered a 30-day public comment period that will continue as scheduled despite a change in administration. This important rulemaking would impose strict requirements and tighten rules on any outside research of this nature supported by federal funds, including banning any abortion provider like Planned Parenthood from supplying and profiting from the acquisition of human fetal tissue for research purposes.

CWALAC applauds these actions as a tribute to our impactful work with policymakers and the tireless dedication of federal officials who have served the Trump Administration with honor in following through on these significant policy achievements. They leave a permanent record that the incoming administration cannot erase.

Global Pro-Life Leadership Will Carry On in Geneva Consensus Declaration

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By Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations.

Protecting the sanctity of human life on the global stage was among the first acts of the Trump Administration and is set to become a lasting achievement. During his first days in office, President Trump expanded the Mexico City Policy as Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance in an Executive Order. His administration pursued a rulemaking to help secure these protections. While we can anticipate hostile action by the new administration, the fruitful effort of the Trump Administration coalescing nations to commit to policies that promote life and human flourishing will undercut their premise for any “stroke of the pen” retractions of pro-life policy in U.S. global health assistance going forward.

The Geneva Consensus Declaration initiated by the United States with co-sponsors Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda, and co-signed by 28 additional countries provides an indelible legacy, even if a new administration seeks to reverse course. The joint declaration of October 22, 2020, Promoting Women’s Health and Strengthening the Family, asserts the commitment of coalition nations working together to promote better health care for women, protect human life, strengthen the family unit as the foundation of society, and declare every nation’s sovereignty in global politics. By “reaffirming the inherent dignity and worth of the human person,” the Geneva Consensus Declaration underscores every nation’s sovereign right to push back international abortion ideology and pass their own laws regarding abortion.

In December 2020, the U.S government, on behalf of supporting countries, officially filed the pro-life Geneva Consensus Declaration with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Kelly Craft, Permanent Representative of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, instructed the Secretary-General to circulate  the declaration with member states as part of the official record of the General Assembly ”inviting all Member States to sign the declaration.”

The declaration has now been issued as an official document of the United Nations and translated into all six official UN languages. This action ensures that the Geneva Consensus Declaration and the good work of the Trump Administration will continue on the world stage, giving other UN member states the opportunity to embrace the declaration, even if U.S. leadership should falter.

As President Trump stated at the 2019 United Nations General Assembly, “Americans will never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child born and unborn is a sacred gift from God.”

Over 76 percent of Americans continue to oppose American taxpayer dollars supporting abortion in other countries. Abortion that destroys innocent human life is not healthcare and should not be promoted as a legitimate form of family planning. There is no international right to abortion, nor any international obligation to finance or facilitate abortion. Every nation has the sovereign right to implement programs and activities consistent with its own laws and policies. They should be able to preserve human dignity as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Consensus Declaration, not be bullied by pro-abortion nations.

Please join CWA in praying for the incoming administration to stand for life: Lord, we beseech You for the future direction of our country and pray that the United States government will continue to stand for the dignity and worth of every human life.

Changing the Rules in the 117th Congress – Amen and Awoman?

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The U.S. House of Representatives convened last Sunday for the opening of the 117th Congress. It became apparent rather quickly that we will have our work cut out for us. Mario Diaz, Concerned Women for America’s General Counsel, and Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations, talk about the opening events that showcased the challenges ahead.  Read the letter that CWALAC sent to the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives opposing the rules changes.

CWA Response to Lawlessness in D.C.

By | CEO, Legal, Legislative Updates, News and Events | No Comments

Concerned Women for America’s CEO and President Penny Nance responded to the January 6 events at the U.S. Capital in Washington, D.C.

“Lawlessness is not a Christian, conservative value.  @CWforA condemns acts of violence and destruction.  Righteous indignation and strategic political engagement are right and just reactions to injustice not mob rioting.  We are better than this as a nation.  Stop it.”

“I know good, peaceful people who came to #dc to exercise their First Amendment rights in reaction to voter fraud, but they need to go home now.  Others are using it as an excuse for criminal behavior.  Unacceptable!  @CWforA @YWforA”

education students

Trump Orders Emergency Learning Scholarships

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As 2020 Ends and Schools Stay Closed, President Trump Orders Emergency Learning Scholarships to Offer Hope in the New Year  

COVID-19 caused many public schools to stay closed for most of 2020, creating mounting hardships for American students and their ability to continue learning effectively, especially those in difficult circumstances. Building on his past actions to help support students, President Trump closed out the year by signing an Executive Order “to ensure the education, health, safety, and well-being of America’s children, our most essential resource upon which the future of our great Nation depends.”

Under the Executive Order on Expanding Educational Opportunity Through School Choice, President Trump is seeking to protect American students who need in-person learning options from prolonged school closures. Despite providing $13 billion in federal support for K-12 schools to safely resume in-person learning earlier this year, more than half of all public-school students began school remotely this fall. The lack of in-person learning is showing the greatest harm among low-income students and students with disabilities.

As noted in the President’s order, research and surveys conducted through the pandemic have revealed many sobering results:

  • Students’ math progress in low-income neighborhoods decreased by nearly 50 percent, and those from middle-income neighborhoods fell by almost a third.
  • Eighty percent of children with special needs are not receiving the services and supports to which they are entitled, and approximately 40 percent of children with special needs are receiving no services or supports.
  • Educators found student absences, including from virtual learning, have nearly doubled during the pandemic.

Analysts are projecting now that if in-person learning does not resume fully in the new year, low-income students will lose over a year of learning.

To help mitigate this harm, President Trump wants to provide “emergency learning scholarships,” offering direct support to disadvantaged families with K-12 students. Under the order, the President instructs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to act consistently with law to allow funds available through the Community Services Block Grant program to be used for emergency learning scholarships for any eligible child lacking access to in-person schooling. As outlined, these scholarships may be used for: tuition and fees for a private or parochial school; homeschool, micro-school, or learning-pod costs; special education and related services, including therapies; or tutoring or remedial education.

The President declares, “I am committed to ensuring that all children of our great Nation have access to the educational resources they need to obtain a high-quality education and to improving students’ safety and well-being, including by empowering families with emergency learning scholarships.”

With teachers’ unions standing in the way of expanding parental choice and educational options for students, we hope the President’s closing act of 2020 will be the ticket to freedom many families have been hoping for in the new year.

Bipartisan Duo in Congress Unites to Protect Women’s Sports

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Democrat Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Republican Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) have joined hands across the aisle to protect the rights of female athletes under Title IX, the federal law that ensures equal opportunities and benefits in education on the basis of sex. A former 2020 Democrat presidential candidate and four-term member of Congress, Gabbard has bucked the Democrat party’s lock-step campaign to repeal Title IX discrimination based on biological sex and replace the definition of sex with gender identity. This manipulation of Title IX’s intent gives any male the chance to claim transgender status and compete on women’s sports teams.

In the first demonstration of bipartisanship on this issue, Reps Gabbard and Mullin introduced the Protect Women’s Sports Act patterned after a bill introduced earlier this year by Republican House members Greg Steube (R-Florida) and Debbie Lesko (R-Arizona). The legislation has a straightforward objective: reaffirm Title IX’s intent based on biological sex and require schools receiving federal funds to abide by this biological distinction in women’s sports in order to comply with federal civil rights law.

By opposing male transgender participation in women’s sports, Gabbard makes a significant statement about the current extremism of her party denying equality of rights for women and girls as female.

In 1972, Title IX provided landmark protections for female students in education by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex. This opened a world of new opportunities for women and girls in academics and athletics that has become commonplace three generations later. Most girls today have no idea what their predecessors fought to achieve and won – nor what they stand to lose.

But some female student-athletes, like Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell and Alanna Smith in Connecticut; Madison Kenyon and Mary Kate Marshall in Idaho; and the daughter of world-champion track athlete Cynthia Monteleone in Hawaii, have faced a different reality as they were forced to compete on an unfair playing field against biological males identifying as girls and forfeit the chance to succeed as they should.

Activism around transgender inclusion in women’s sports is sidelining the achievements of female student-athletes, putting their safety at risk, and silencing their voices. It is also rewriting the purpose of what Title IX was enacted to protect. Democrats have been hypocritical about this discrimination against women and girls, choosing to ignore biological truths that matter in sports (and facilities) and bowing instead to transactivist demands that deny the rights of females who have the most to lose.

In a statement on the Protect Women’s Sports Act, Gabbard declares, ”Our legislation protects Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex. It is critical that the legacy of Title IX continues to ensure women and girls in sports have the opportunity to compete and excel on a level playing field.”

Mullins, the father of wrestlers including three daughters, had this to say, ”As the father of three girls involved in athletics, I want them to be able to compete on a level playing field. I am proud to lead this bill that will safeguard the integrity of women’s sports and ensure female athletes can compete fairly.”

By reclaiming Title IX protections for female athletes, Tulsi Gabbard is challenging the Democrat party establishment. Her retirement from Congress now leaves the mission to display the same courage to others.  Perhaps they can be persuaded by the substantial majorities of Americans who oppose male trans-athletes competing against females in women’s sports.  As Gabbard’s support and partnership with Mullin make clear, this should not be a partisan issue, but a matter of biological reality, fair play, and common sense – principles that should unite us.

Doreen Denny is Vice President of Government Relations for Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.

Concerned Women Today! The Fight to Keep the Hyde Amendment

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Doreen Denny, CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations, takes you inside the U.S. House of Representatives to get a first-hand account of a hearing on the fight to keep the Hyde Amendment. Should American taxpayers be forced to pay for abortion? If the Democrats in Congress have their way, the answer is Yes.

Listen to the podcast here.

MORE Act Promotes Marijuana Use, Not Justice

By | Defense of Family, Legislative Updates, News and Events | No Comments

With a government shutdown on the horizon and coronavirus crippling communities across America, the Democrat-controlled Congress has prioritized the left’s obsession with pot use to vote on a bill removing federal controls over an exploding Big Marijuana industry.

The House passed the Marijuana Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE) Act by a vote of 228-164  under a deceptive banner of social justice. While touted as a decriminalizing measure to expunge the records of low-level offenders, the MORE Act actually dismantles federal enforcement against marijuana. This vote marks an historic surrender in the war on drug addiction. It denies the real threats of high potency marijuana to public safety, mental health, and our most vulnerable populations, including America’s youth.

In a total policy reversal, the MORE Act would remove marijuana as a controlled substance, legalizing and commercializing its use, manufacture, and sale, without health-related safeguards, advertising guardrails, or measures to crack down on the thriving illicit marijuana market. It would fully legalize unlimited potency marijuana products, including vapes and edibles appealing to youth, and allow any form of advertising, including on television during the Super bowl.

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) signaled our strong opposition to this bill and our intent to score against any member of Congress voting in favor on our member scorecard.

In a letter to House members, CWALAC CEO and President Penny Nance warned, “Repackaging marijuana as a social justice issue in the MORE Act will not solve the problem of lucrative, greedy financial markets and reckless commercial marketing of marijuana. It will not change the harmful, increasingly potent nature of this drug as a danger to public health. Any federal de-scheduling of a psychotic drug removes the ability to enforce against its use, becoming a greater threat to public safety. This includes the U.S. Department of Transportation requirements for public transit workers.”

Here’s more about why the MORE Act is an irresponsible and reckless policy:

  • Fails to include common-sense safety measures like requiring a warning label on the health risks posed by marijuana, limitations on marijuana product potency, or restrictions on locating marijuana businesses within 1000 feet of schools, daycares, private kindergartens, public parks, or recreational facilities.
  • Retroactively decriminalizes marijuana, requiring Federal courts to expunge prior “nonviolent” marijuana convictions and conduct re-sentencing hearings, potentially leading to the early release of drug traffickers.
  • Funnels taxpayer money to the marijuana industry, making federal grants and loans available for marijuana-related businesses and service providers.

CWALAC believes America must stand against drug addiction and the promotion of drug use in our culture. The marketing of the MORE Act as a social justice measure is disingenuous and redirects attention away from prevention and treatment. If Congress enacts the MORE Act, America can expect more of the damaging effects of our drug-induced culture.

Geneva Consensus Aims to Protect the Sanctity of Life

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

By Amy Lidell, Intern for Concerned Women for America

The fight for life continues as the United States has come together with Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, and Uganda to form the Geneva Consensus Declaration. The virtual signing of this consensus took place on October 22, 2020, to commemorate the commitment of these nations working together to promote better health care for women, preserve human life, strengthen the family unit as the foundation of society, and protect every nation’s sovereignty in global politics. It is every nation’s sovereign right to push back international abortion ideology and pass their own laws regarding abortion.

President Donald Trump, a strong defender of human life, warned the United Nations to stay within its mandate at the 2019 United Nations General Assembly Speech stating, “Americans will never tire of defending innocent life. We are aware that many United Nations projects have attempted to assert a global right to taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, right up until the moment of delivery. Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child born and unborn, is a sacred gift from God.”

Over 76 percent of Americans oppose American taxpayer dollars supporting abortion in other countries. Abortion is not healthcare and is not a legitimate form of family planning. There is only an international right to life. No multilateral organizations should use their power and influence to pressure any country to include or exclude abortion in their national policies. This allows each nation to determine its own path in preserving human dignity, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In connection with the Trump Administration’s Protecting Life in Global Health Policy, the Geneva Consensus seeks to build a global coalition to promote women’s health while protecting unborn life and strengthening the family. Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) works in conjunction with this policy by restricting funding for organizations abroad that promote or perform abortion.

Although US contractors and subcontractors are not subject to PLGHA (also known as the Mexico City policy), they are held to ensure the compliance of any foreign subcontractors. The Trump Administration has proposed a rule to clarify this responsibility and to expand the terms of PLGHA to cover all international health program contracts, in addition to the global health assistance grants and cooperative agreements under current policy. You can join in commenting in support of this Mexico City Policy Rule at our Action Center by clicking here. The deadline for comments is November 13, 2020.

Progress abounds in the fight for life. We encourage you to continue to pray for wisdom and clarity for our international leaders to continue to step up and find ways to continue to preserve national sovereignty and the individual’s right to life.

Confirmed and Sworn In!

By | Barrett, Legal, Legislative Updates, News and Events | No Comments

Friends,

Congratulations! Your support and engagement have now helped confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. She was just confirmed by a vote of 52-48 and sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas. What a picture of hope for our country to see her raise her hand and take her oath from another constitutionalist at the Court.

Our Women for Amy Bus Tour is rejoicing! I want to thank those of you who took the time to come out to rally in support of Justice Barrett. We have a few more stops still, and they are bound to be the most joyous ones yet, as we celebrate this amazing victory.

Your engagement in this nomination will bear fruits for generations to come. Justice Barrett is not only a woman of great faith, integrity, and commitment to the Constitution, she is also now the youngest member of the Supreme Court.

This is a historic day for conservative women. Justice Barrett is an inspiration to millions of young conservative women who are witnessing a prime example of someone who reached the highest pinnacles of her profession without compromising her values.

But the task ahead will not be easy for Justice Barrett. The pressures will only increase as she takes her new position at the Court. So, let me encourage you to continue to keep her and her family in your prayers.

And remember to stay connected with us here at ConcernedWomen.org as we continue to stand together for freedom and justice in our land.

Sincerely,
Penny Nance
CEO and President

Historic Moment for Conservative Women, ACB Confirmed to the Supreme Court

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2020

Contact:
Stephanie Rivera
954.243.6301, [email protected]

Historic Moment for Conservative Women, ACB Confirmed to the Supreme Court

Washington, D.C. – The United States Senate just confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court by a vote of 52-48. . Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), had this to say:

“The conservative women I have been visiting all across the country in our ‘Women for Amy’ Bus Tour cheer loudly for this historic milestone for women.  Judge Barret is an inspiration to millions!

“A conservative, constitutionalist, pro-life woman at the Supreme Court is why we voted for Donald Trump. We congratulate Justice Barrett, and we are praying for her and her family. The task ahead will be a difficult one, but we have full confidence in her abilities as a jurist.

“We must also recognize the incredible job done by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham in cutting through the usual Washington antics and making sure Judge Barrett was given a fair confirmation process. This was not a given. The opposition tried to derail her, even though they knew she was more than qualified for the job. They opposed her for political reasons. But Senate leadership and Republicans in the Senate went to bat for the American people, and they delivered. A job well done.

“But ultimately, we must get back to the source of such a great addition to the Supreme Court: President Donald J. Trump. He has surpassed all our expectations when it comes to judicial nominations, and he has indeed delivered on making the judiciary great again.

“Americans will remember that going into this important election.”

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America. Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with a rich 40-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.

CWA’s Victory in Transgender Sports Case a Win for Women’s Rights

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By Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations

Concerned Women for America (CWA) just landed a significant victory protecting the rights of college female athletes under federal law.

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) resolved CWA’s sex discrimination complaint against Franklin Pierce University (FPU) in New Hampshire, finding the college had violated Title IX by allowing a male transgender athlete to compete in women’s sports. The FPU Ravens took home the 2019 NCAA Track and Field Championship national title in the women’s 400-meter hurdles won by an athlete who had previously competed on its men’s team. During the season, the runner identifying as a woman but biologically male-dominated female competition and was celebrated “Women’s Track Athlete of the Week” by the Northeast-10 Conference.

CWA saw in this case and others how the future of women’s sports was at risk and the equal rights of female athletes being infringed. We filed a formal civil rights complaint against FPU in response to this injustice.

Title IX requires equal educational benefits and opportunities for students, including in athletics, on the basis of sex, not gender identity. The federal law extends to any school receiving federal financial assistance, including public K-12 schools and virtually every college and university in America.

OCR agreed with CWA that FPU had violated Title IX equal opportunity protections for female athletes.  The university chose to enter a resolution agreement  requiring it to “rescind its transgender participation and inclusion policy” and “cease any and all practices related thereto.”  This notice is also required to be posted in a prominent location on its website.

For girls fearing their chance to compete on an equal playing field could be erased, this is good news.  For female athletes at the high school and college level, insist on your rights under Title IX.  Any school that defies federal civil rights law by denying women equal opportunities in athletic programs or forcing women to compete against transgender athletes who are biologically male stands to lose.

The battle to save women’s sports is not over, but the resolution in CWA’s case against Franklin Pierce University is welcome news.  It dignifies the importance of our work to protect female status, fairness and safety in sports designated for women and girls.

Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have legislation pending to protect female athletes that would further our cause. The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020 would specifically require in federal law that sex-specific sports for women and girls under Title IX be restricted to females based on biological sex. Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to support this legislation today.

Press Release: University Forced to Rescind Transgender Sports Policy

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2020

Contact: Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations
(202) 420-1491, [email protected]

 University Forced to Rescind Transgender Policy as Violation of Title IX
after Biological Male wins NCAA Championship in Women’s Track

Action Resolves Concerned Women for America Sex Discrimination Complaint

Washington, D.C. – Today, Concerned Women for America (CWA) received notice that the U.S.  Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has resolved CWA’s civil rights complaint in women’s sports against Franklin Pierce University (FPU).  OCR agreed with CWA that FPU’s transgender sports participation and inclusion policy is in violation of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination in educational programs and activities, including athletics, on the basis of sex.

Under the Resolution Agreement, the New Hampshire university, a Division II school in the Northeast-10 Conference, “will rescind its Transgender Participation and Inclusion Policy and will cease any and all practices related thereto.”  FPU’s policy is similar to current NCAA policy that reportedly is under review and on the agenda for consideration by the Board of Governors at their October meeting later this month.

Penny Nance, CWA’s CEO and President had this to say:

“This Resolution Agreement is the first victory for college female athletes being forced to compete on an unfair playing field against males claiming transgender status and competing in women’s sports. We thank the Department of Education for upholding Title IX, which was passed into law 48 years ago to give women and girls equal opportunities in sports based on biological sex.

“Transgender policies have turned Title IX on its head, denying the rights of women and girl athletes to compete only against athletes of the same sex and threatening the future of women’s sports. Federal action against Franklin Pierce University is a warning shot to the NCAA and every college and university in America to back off policies that discriminate against female student-athletes and restore fairness and equity in women’s sports.”

CWA’s complaint was filed last year after a Franklin Pierce University student-athlete, who previously had competed on the men’s track team, transitioned to compete as a member of the women’s team and won a national title at the 2019 Division II NCAA Track and Field Championships in the Women’s 400-meter hurdles.

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with a rich 40-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.

Why Title IX and the Future of Female Sports are at Risk Today

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CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations, Doreen Denny, appeared on Save Women’s Sports webinar to discuss Title IX and the future of women’s sports in America including the need for passage of the  Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020.

The webinar was co-hosted by Beth Stelzer, Founder of Save Women’s Sports, and Dr. Linda Blade. Doreen was featured along with Dr. Kristopher Hunt, ER Physician and Medical Director for USA Powerlifting, and Kara Dansky, Lawyer with the Women’s Human Rights Campaign-USA.

Listen to the Entire Show Here and Hear Doreen Beginning at 35:30.

Visit our CWALAC Action Center to send a letter to your U.S. Senators and Representative requesting their support for the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020

Safety First Online Starts at Home

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

By Amy Lidell, Intern for Concerned Women for America

Last week the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) partnered with the White House, Justice Department, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to host a live stream webinar promoting online safety for children. Ivanka Trump and Attorney General William Barr opened the webinar voicing their support for the safety movement while outlining some of the risks children face online.

Screen time in 2020 increased significantly as a result of the required social distancing connected to the coronavirus pandemic, and online enticement is up by a minimum of 20 percent. Attorney General Barr voiced his concern for the amplified dependency on technology for social interaction, stating, “Unfortunately, the same technology that connects us with family and friends also provides predators with a pathway back into our homes and can be used for strangers who want to target, groom, and sexually exploit our children.”  Internet safety is more important than ever. We are all harmed when children are exploited online.

Safety First promotes a culture of safety over a value of privacy for online predators. An individual’s privacy cannot take priority over a child’s online vulnerability. Ivanka Trump discussed the importance of standing behind sexual assault victims and allowing their voices to be heard while becoming proactive in preventing online exploitation from happening in American homes. DHS Chief Chad Wolf added that proactive conversations with kids about online safety make them less vulnerable.

NCMEC leaders spoke on ways to successfully direct difficult conversations with kids of all ages about online activity. They showed that the earlier these conversations take place within a family, the more likely parents successfully prevent online enticement, sexting, sextortion, and any other inappropriate interaction with strangers or predators.

NCMEC has provided fun, age-appropriate workbooks on its website to provide parents and teachers an outlet to teach kids about online safety. These workbooks help navigate uncomfortable discussions about saying no to online strangers and avoiding traps used by predators to lure kids into inappropriate correspondence. Physical contact is not needed for an online offender, and it is alarming how direct predator requests become towards a child when direct action is not taken immediately.

We encourage you to learn more about the Safety First movement and join Concerned Women for America in taking the NCMEC Safety Pledge to continue learning how to be critical role models for kids through your online activity, presence, and conversation.

Press Release: Senate Conservatives Stand with Female Student-Athletes

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2020

Contact: Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations
(202) 420-1491, [email protected]

Senate Conservatives Stand with Female
Student-Athletes to Protect Title IX from Bostock Fallout

Washington, D.C. – Today, Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Mike Lee (R-Utah), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), and Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) introduced the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020.”  This legislation would clarify schools’ responsibility under Title IX to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex from being overruled by allowing males claiming transgender status to participate in women’s sports.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, welcomed this landmark bill as necessary to protect women’s rights in the fight for a fair playing field for female student-athletes who are being forced in interscholastic competition and the NCAA to compete against athletes who are physically male but asserting identity as women or girls:

“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee thanks Sens. Loeffler, Blackburn, Lee, Lankford, and Cotton for standing with us at the forefront of the fight to protect equal opportunity in women’s sports. We applaud their leadership in the U.S. Senate introducing the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020,” which recognizes that female student-athletes are denied their rights when Title IX is not used to defend them.

Today, our daughter athletes are being bullied by activists and sidelined by silence.  They simply want to compete on a level playing field against athletes of their own sex.  That is what Title IX achieved for female student-athletes over 40 years ago. We urge all members of the Senate to work to preserve the rights of women and girls on the basis of biological sex. Women and girls, regardless of political persuasion, deserve to have the laws that protect us respected and followed, ensuring equal opportunities and benefits in sports for all female athletes.”

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with a rich 40-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.

It’s Final! Education Rule Aims to Protect Free Speech for Faith-Based College Groups

By | Education, Legislative Updates, News and Events | No Comments

The U.S. Department of Education has finalized a significant rule to secure free speech and equal access rights for faith-based groups on public college campuses and shield them from discrimination. Earlier this year, Concerned Women for America (CWA) galvanized over 1000 comments in strong support of this rule, which will take effect officially this fall.   

The final rule implements the President’s Executive Order 13864, Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, Accountability at Colleges and Universities.  It will “ensure that public institutions of higher education uphold fundamental rights guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, including protections for freedom of speech, association, press, religion, assembly, petition, and academic freedom, and that private institutions adhere to their stated institutional policies regarding freedom of speech, including academic freedom.”

These protections are long overdue at the college level. Imagine being falsely told your First Amendment rights under the Constitution do not apply on a public college campus.  That has been the reality for many college students and faith-based clubs on campuses across the country.

Religious clubs, of all faiths, are entitled to the same rights and privileges of any group on a public college campus, but that is not always how it plays out. Many faith-based clubs have been prohibited from having any requirement that their club leadership share the organization’s values and beliefs. They have also been denied equal access to university resources that are given to other campus groups.

The U.S. Department of Education’s final rule on Religious Liberty and Free Inquiry accomplishes through the Executive Branch the goal of the Equal Campus Access Act. This religious freedom rule will ensure public college students and clubs retain their First Amendment rights on public college campuses, extending protections to college students similar to those enacted into law in 1984 for public high school students. Students can know their rights are assured under this rule, and any violation should be reported immediately to the U.S. Department of Education for action.

Under the Constitution, students do not lose their First Amendment rights when they walk through the doors of a university.  Clubs of all faiths bring vibrancy and diversity of belief, opinion, and experience, creating a more robust university environment to engage in the free exchange of ideas. That is at the heart of what a university is meant to be.

The Education Department’s final rule adds to the many accomplishments of the Trump Administration to protect religious liberty and end discrimination against faith-based individuals and entities across the federal government, including in education, health care, adoption, employment, and internationally.

DeVos Stands With Female Athletes Forced to Face Transgender Competitors

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

Read Concerned Women for America’s Vice President of Government Relations, Doreen Denny, op-ed in CNS-News online.

“It’s Official! Bostock Does Not Overrule Biology under Title IX,” says Doreen Denny, Concerned Women for America’s Vice President of Government Relations. The U.S.  Department of Education (ED) has heard Concerned Women for America’s plea to stand strong in defense of fairness and equity for female student-athletes by asserting that the Supreme Court decision in Bostock does not overrule biological sex under Title IX!  On September 1, 2020, CWA received a landmark response to a letter sent to Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her “to take proactive measures to ensure consistency, equality, and fair play in every athletics department in every educational institution across the country.”

On June 25, 2020, marking the 48th Anniversary of Title IX, CEO and President, Penny Nance, sent a letter thanking  Secretary DeVos and the Trump Administration for their support to protect a fair playing field for female student-athletes, including Selina Soule and her teammates in Connecticut who had been forced under state policy to compete in high school track against biological male students identifying as girls.

CWA’s letter to Secretary DeVos also emphasized the need for further decisive action:

“The battle to protect the integrity and fairness of women’s sports is ground zero in the fight for women’s rights. As mothers, daughters, granddaughters, sisters all, we urge you to heed our plea to stand firmly for our rights as women and take bold actions to ensure Title IX is protected at every level of education in our country.”

This week, ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) responded to CWA with an emphatic determination of policy detailing why the Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, the case that extended transgender status to employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, cannot be used to deny protection from discrimination based on biological sex under Title IX.

OCR’s letter to CWA unequivocally states ED’s “commitment to ensuring that Title IX is vigorously enforced at every level of education.” It also provides legal justification for why the Bostock decision does not control ED’s responsibility under Title IX or its regulations, concluding:

“The Supreme Court’s opinion in Bostock does not affect the Department’s position that its Title IX regulations authorize single-sex teams based only on biological sex at birth – male or female – as opposed to a person’s gender identity.”

OCR’s Acting Assistant Secretary, Kimberly Richey, also assures CWA that ED will continue its work to enforce Title IX and investigate complaints. CWA has filed two civil rights complaints at the college level, against Franklin Pierce University and the University of Montana, for allowing male athletes who changed their gender identity to compete and win national and conference NCAA titles against female athletes:

“The Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for enforcing Title IX, and the Department remains committed to the full, fair, and effective enforcement of that statute. Please be assured that OCR will continue to investigate all complaints under Title IX thoroughly, including those related to female athletics.”

In addition to the letter to CWA, OCR issued its interpretation of the Bostock decision in a Revised Letter of Impending Enforcement Action in the complaint against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and member school districts. In its ruling, ED asserts its regulatory mandate and enforcement authority to uphold the equal benefits and opportunities required under Title IX on the basis of biological sex.

As court cases continue in Connecticut and Idaho seeking to defend the rights of women and girl student-athletes to compete on an equal playing field against other female athletes, judges should heed ED’s authority over Title IX and give this official position the deference it deserves.

It is also critical that the government’s official position on Title IX in light of Bostock – which, in addition to athletics, permits separate living facilities, “toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” – gets in the hands of every state lawmaker, school board, and local school district in America. This is a definitive statement of Title IX policy that all schools and universities receiving federal funds must follow. Please help make that happen by sharing the letter to CWA with these officials today!