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Legislative Updates

Press Release: Senate Conservatives Stand with Female Student-Athletes

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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

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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

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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!

The Old-School Tactics of Teachers Unions May Not Survive COVID-19

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Across the country, millions of families are faced with cobbling together strategies to make a new school year work. In many places, schools could have been working on better solutions, or at least not resisting them. Legislators could have helped by expanding educational options for students and providing the financial support to follow.

Liberals have stood on the wrong side of education reform for decades. Backers of a Biden presidency should know the tide will turn against supporting families with greater choice in education, even during a pandemic.

In many politically liberal school districts, public schools have gone into virtual retreat instead of working overtime to find non-traditional solutions. Creative minds could think of many possibilities:  grouping smaller cohorts of students, alternating schedules, ensuring students with special needs receive on-site services. In some places, this is happening. Other districts, however, spent the entire summer in limbo and defaulted to “virtual” learning which most recognize was a real failure in the spring,

This has left many working parents in a lurch, including those in my Northern Virginia community.

Parents are concerned about health, but they are also scrambling for strategies. They are the ones getting creative since their school administrators aren’t. Districts run by left-leaning school boards have started warning against innovative pod learning, even shaming parents against such alternatives in the name of “equity.”  Here’s what Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) said in a Message for Parents on Tutoring Pods:

“While FCPS doesn’t and can’t control these private tutoring groups, we do have concerns that they may widen the gap in educational access and equity for all students. Many parents cannot afford private instruction. Many working families can’t provide transportation to and from a tutoring pod, even if they could afford to pay for the service.”

Knowing parents are desperate for options, FCPS has figured out how it can use the crisis to its financial advantage. A number of schools will offer paid childcare for elementary-aged students charging parents up to $1500 a month for the privilege of sending their students through the schoolhouse door.

Entrepreneurial parents might soon find that other educational options are more effective than the traditional schools – more time on fact-based academic learning, and none on feelings-based self-awareness lessons and gender unicorns. They might just start to question the value of their local tax dollars going to these agenda-driven government-run schools.

The National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have resisted returning to class and undermined strategies to cope with school closures, exposing how the liberal establishment stands guard over an old-world education order. Their vocal opposition sounds tone-deaf to the realities of the current crisis for families. If the priority was on educating students, they would be cheering for solutions, not posting threats about learning pods widening the divide between “have and have nots” (which only underscores why schools should be opening their doors).

These old-school tactics have long been apparent. Anything that threatens the power of the teachers’ unions threatens their existence. They are enemies of expanding educational choice because they hold monopoly power over government-run schools. They attack educational scholarship programs, even ones that give low-income parents the chance to send their kids to a higher-performing school because competition would cut into their job security.

Based on voter attitudes, the NEA and AFT might be losing their grip. Their response to the current pandemic could be exposing this fear.

Black and Latino parents support the concept of school vouchers because all parents hope to give their kids the best shot at academic success. A poll  commissioned by the American Federation of Children shows the continuing strong trend that “a broad and deep coalition of voters back school choice.”  Sixty -nine percent, including 82 percent of Latinos and 68 percent of blacks, supported giving  “parents the right to use the tax dollars designated for their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which best serves their needs.”

For educators more interested in power than their profession, being separated from students by a computer screen instead of supervising them in person might be an added incentive to keep remote learning going as long as possible – all the more reason why the collective power of the teachers’ unions and the monopoly of government-run education should be reimagined while disruption is the norm. It’s time to overrule the old-world order in favor of an excellence-based, pandemic-flexible, family-friendly, 21st-century education system.

Doreen Denny is Vice President of Government Relations, Concerned Women for America

Trump Administration Acts to Protect Human Dignity in Sickness and in Health

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Concerned Women for America (CWA) received three exclusive briefings last week on actions the Trump Administration is taking to protect human dignity across the lifespan. No human life should be disrespected or discarded on the basis of age, stage, or disability.

Ending Fetal Tissue Research: At the behest of CWA and pro-life partners, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced last year several changes to its policy on the use of fetal tissue in research projects. These included discontinuing all federal funds for internal research projects and requiring that all external research proposals be reviewed by an ethics advisory board.

On August 18, the Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board issued a report to the Secretary of HHS and to Congress which recommended withholding funds for 13 out of the 14 research proposals submitted that would use human fetal tissue (the body parts of aborted babies). One project for which the Board recommended funds NOT be withheld was approved by a vote of 9-6.  Board members raised legitimate ethical concerns, but the majority sided with the investigators on the basis of their plan “to use preexisting [human fetal tissue] … with no need to acquire additional tissue for the planned studies. If successful, the research will obviate the need for HFT in future models.” Hopefully the Board’s actions will bring a final end to the abhorrent practice of destroying pre-born life for unethical research.

Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance: Also on August 18, the Trump Administration released its second implementation report on the impact of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy (PLGHA). PLGHA affirms respect for unborn life in foreign aid funding by requiring foreign non-governmental organizations to agree, as a condition of receiving U.S. federal grant money, to neither perform nor promote abortion as a method of family planning overseas.

International Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International, who believe in a global right to abortion on demand, declined funds. Other awardees accepted this requirement and conducted their projects without disrupting vital health services to women and families. This proves again how the Trump Administration’s priority to protect life is making a life-saving impact on the international stage.

Prohibiting Age and Disability Discrimination during COVID-19: On August 20, HHS’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced it reached a civil rights complaint resolution with the state of Utah, which should serve as a model for other states, after Utah revised its crisis standards of care guidelines to prohibit discrimination against patients on the basis of age and disability. This is OCR’s seventh resolution with a state regarding discrimination concerns during COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic has placed unprecedented demands on the medical system, but that is no excuse for doctors and hospitals to undermine human dignity by disqualifying persons with advanced conditions associated with age from receiving life-saving medical care, or deprioritizing people with disabilities, during a  public health emergency.

We are grateful for the ways the Trump Administration is tirelessly prioritizing the dignity of every human life in policy and action.

CWALAC Endorses Focus on Protecting Children and Taxpayers from the Destructive Cost of Gender Reassignment

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee’s (CWALAC) impact on policy was on display as several members of Congress, led by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-California), introduced legislation responding to the alarming acceleration of “gender reassignment” interventions causing irreversible harm to children and violating the conscience rights of federal taxpayers. The “Protecting Children from Experimentation Act” and the” End Taxpayer Funding of Gender Experimentation Act” aim to shield children and taxpayers from the deceptive push to “normalize” gender reassignment and promote destructive transgender medical practices using drugs and surgeries.

At the national and state levels, CWALAC has been working to educate lawmakers on the radical, irreversible medical treatments being exploited by an activist medical community, including unethical research supported by the National Institutes of Health to deal with the psychological condition of gender dysphoria.

In announcing the bills, Rep. LaMalfa said, “Our society has quickly ‘normalized’ gender experimentation under the guise of an ‘accepting’ political ideology rather than biological reality. Even more troubling, children are undergoing experimental treatments, like being injected with puberty-blocking hormones and cross-sex hormones, which have irreversible consequences, such as permanent sterility.”

Doreen Denny, CWALAC Vice President of Government Relations, offered this statement of support:

“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) agrees children who struggle with identity should be protected from harmful ‘gender reassignment’ medical practices causing serious health risks, irreversible damage, and increasingly, regret. Minors are incapable of giving informed consent to destructive medical interventions degrading their development and sterilizing their bodies. Unfortunately, the Big Gender market is more interested in profit than ethical practice.  CWALAC applauds Rep LaMalfa’s proposals standing against the medical mutilation of minors in the name of ‘gender confirmation,’ and the use of federal tax dollars to finance radical gender reassignment interventions.”

To read the full press release announcing the legislation and its original sponsors, click here.

Key Update on the NCAA & Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act

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Important Update: NCAA’s Board of Governors did not take action against Idaho for enacting the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act at their meeting on August 4. That is good news!! But the fight is not over!

A sportswriter in Idaho reported this statement: “The NCAA is working with national and international groups as it reviews its current transgender athlete policy. Inclusion and fairness are the objectives in addressing the complex set of issues. The NCAA Board of Governors will hear an update regarding the policy review at its October meeting as it considers future championship host sites. The NCAA is monitoring the lawsuit involving Idaho Bill 500 and will review the court’s decision when it is made.”

Activists are going even further in pressing the NCAA to change its policy to remove any requirement for hormone treatment for a male to compete in women’s sports. Instead, they want any male identifying as a woman to be eligible to compete in women’s sports against female athletes.

We must continue to act to protect the status of females and the integrity of women’s sports for female athletes. You can help in two ways:

  1. Over 300 female athletes signed the letter to the NCAA! We continue to gather signatures for the letter petitioning the NCAA to back off any boycott of Idaho. Please help us reach out to current or former NCAA or professional female athletes and have them Sign Here.
  2. Stand with us to protect female athletes by signing our petition to the International Olympic Committee requesting suspension of the 2015 guidelines allowing biological males to compete in women’s Olympic events. To date, Save Women’s Sports has collected over 15,000 signatures from 30 countries! Sign Here.

Thank you for joining Concerned Women for America to Save Women’s Sports!

P.S. Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations, joined Washington Watch recently to discuss CWA’s effort to protect the rights of female athletes under Title IX. Listen here.

Whether or Not Schools Reopen, Families Need Choices

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Back to School is here, and it seems we are back to where we ended – struggling to adapt to continued uncertainty without the luxury of time on our side.  Students can ill afford to lose another semester, let alone another year.

Among the important developments of the coronavirus pandemic is the growing realization of why choice in education really matters. Now is the time to make the shift to a lasting environment of school choice that gives parents the capacity to opt into or opt out of the school setting that works for their children and their circumstances and the means to make it work.

The primacy of student well-being and effective learning dictates that in-person education cannot be a luxury for most.  Families are getting creative in how to make education possible if the schools are not going to open, and they deserve greater access and control over the money we pour into education from the local to the federal levels.

Information from the President’s team underscores the importance of the real issues that parents need to consider:

“Failure to offer in-person classes could harm students’ development, especially those in disadvantaged communities.  Nationwide, nearly 30 million American students rely on schools for free or reduced meals.   More than 70% of children receiving mental health services do so at school, and nearly all therapies for children with intellectual or physical disabilities are performed at school.”

The Trump Administration is also aware that families need the flexibility to weigh decisions before them:

“It is vital that parents be allowed to weigh both the benefits and risks of sending their child back to school, including the level of community spread and the makeup of their household, especially for multi-generational households.”

That is why President Trump’s emphasis on encouraging schools to reopen safely coupled with proposals to expand the educational choices of families need action now.  Specifically, President Trump is calling for legislation to ensure that schools have the funding and incentives they need to safely reopen this fall and empower families with school choice.

“To encourage schools to make in-person classes available this fall, the President is requesting $105 billion in education funding as part of the next coronavirus relief bill—$70 billion of which will directly support K-12 education. Approximately $35 billion of the $70 billion will be reserved for schools that reopen.  If schools do not reopen, funding should follow students so parents can send their child to the private, charter, religious, or home school of their choice.”

The School Choice Now Act, introduced by Sens. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), provides a mechanism for giving scholarships to students for use at the school setting of their choice, including home-based schooling, and includes robust protections for schools and families to operate free of government intrusion that could compromise their mission or beliefs.

Families are being faced with unprecedented obligations to assume primary responsibility for keeping their children engaged and learning.  The fragility of the public-school system, including how teacher unions can hold it hostage, is being exposed.  The shortcomings of traditional ways of delivering education in a technological age that intensifies the divide between have and have-nots is more obvious than ever.   We cannot afford limping along for another year in the same way we saw last year limp to a close.

In a pandemic age, education must be adaptable.  If teacher unions are going to prevent public schools from reopening, then now is the time to allow greater access and investment in our private, faith-centered, and home-based schools.   President Trump’s focus is on target:  giving parents the means to consider better options and the choice to take them.

Penny Nance urges FDA to remove abortion pill from U.S. market

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Today, Penny Nance joined leading medical and prolife groups urging the FDA to remove the abortion pill, mifepristone, immediately from the U.S. market for its imminent danger to women after a federal judge ruled to circumvent the drug’s critical safety requirements to provide easy access during the coronavirus pandemic.

In their letter to Commission Hahn,  the leaders warn:

“This rogue judicial activism is a gross breach of the separation of powers, undermining the FDA’s statutory authority to regulate drug safety, while recklessly endangering American women and preborn children. The FDA must fight back.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

House Republican Appropriators Seek to Restore Pro-Life Protections

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By Lindsey Hudson, Intern for Concerned Women for America’s Government Relations

Last week, the Democrat majority of the House Committee on Appropriations advanced several fiscal year (FY) 2021 spending bills brimming with anti-life provisions. To Republicans’ dismay, appropriators rejected amendments to four major spending bills to restore these measures, and the bills were passed out of committee along party lines.

The Democrat FY2021 State Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill which funds international programs eliminated President Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy. It weakened language of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which in turn would allow the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to receive more U.S. financial aid. Both are especially critical to preserve. Here’s why:

The Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations from performing or promoting abortions to ensure that given U.S. funds are not being channeled towards overseas abortions. The Kemp-Kasten Amendment prevents funds going to entities that actively support or participate in coercive abortions. Moreover, it is a means through which the President is able to divert funding away from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which engaged in the Chinese population control program.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama), warned the Committee of the consequence of attacking pro-life policy:

“President Trump has made his intention very clear. [In his 2019 letter to Speaker Pelosi, the President wrote], ‘I will veto any legislation that weakens current pro-life Federal policies and laws …’”

SFOPS Subcommittee Ranking Member, Hal Rodgers (R-Kentucky) offered an amendment to restore the pro-life policies and remove the problematic language of the bill. Despite Republican efforts, the Rodgers’ amendment was shot down by a vote of 21-29.

Pro-life policy attacks also succeeded in the Democrat’s FY2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) which passed by a vote of 30 to 22.  It eradicates the Trump administration’s regulations guarding against taxpayer funding of abortion, including changes to Section 1557 of Obamacare, the Title X Protect Life Rule, and the Conscience Protection Rule.  These crucial regulations were put in place to shield human life, as well as safeguard religious liberty.

Section 1557 ensures that health care providers under Obamacare are not required to provide and pay for abortions. Title X’s Protect Life Rule redirects tax dollars away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, only allowing funds for family planning that does not include abortion.  The Conscience Protection Rule ensures security for health care organizations that do not wish to participate in abortions, sterilizations, or assisted suicides.

An effort by Rep. Tom Cole’s (R-Oklahoma) to restore these measures was rejected on a party-line vote.

The Democrat’s anti-life agenda was pushed further in the FY2021 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill. While the bill retains certain pro-life measures in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, the D.C. Hyde Amendment is altered to permit local funds towards abortions in the District of Columbia. Once again, Rep. Aderholt sought to reinstate the longstanding D.C. Hyde Amendment, but it was voted down by Democrats on a voice vote.

Lastly, the FY2021 Defense Appropriations bill was passed, again on a party-line vote of 30 to 22.  Rep. Andy Harris (R-Maryland) made a noble attempt to apply the protections of the Born Alive Abortions Survivors Protection Act to the TRICARE program which provides health care to military service members and their families. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Washington) made a strong appeal to the Democrat side of the aisle:

“When a baby has left a mother’s womb, it is not part of her body … This baby is already here … You’re not throwing your belief about being pro-choice out the window by saying, ‘Once a baby is here, we’re going to protect it.’”

Rep. Harris’s amendment to block TRICARE funding for any health care provider failing to administer life-saving care to babies born alive from attempted abortions gained the support of two committee Democrats but failed by a vote of 24 to 28.

The Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee should be applauded for standing firm, speaking up, and being consistent on their pro-life position. Longstanding pro-life language was maintained within the appropriations bills’ text, including the Hyde Amendment and the Helms Abortion Funding Ban. Unfortunately, the road ahead on the House floor does not look promising as the Democrat majority appears determined to undo the progress the Trump Administration has worked hard to advance to protect life.

DOJ Backs Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act

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By Lindsey Hudson, Intern for Concerned Women for America’s Government Relations Department

Idaho is spearheading the fight to protect and maintain equal opportunity and fair competition for female athletes in sports. The state saw a problem with women’s rights, safety, scholarships, and opportunities being stripped away and decided to be the first to do something about it.

Idaho enacted House Bill 500, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act (Fairness Act) to prevent male students identifying as females from participating on female sports teams. This bill explains males have biological differences: denser, stronger bones, greater lung capacity, higher levels of testosterone. These scientific, biological differences give males an unfair advantage in athleticism when compared to female athletes. The Fairness Act signed into law on March 30, 2020, will be put into effect next month. State lawmakers in 14 additional states are in agreement with Idaho’s Fairness Act and have acted by proposing similar legislation. Through their legislators, citizens across the U.S. are seeking to preserve fair competition in women’s sports. Yet, certain organizations continue to actively oppose this form of equal opportunity.

The state’s brave actions towards protecting women’s rights are facing unjustifiable pushback from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The progressive, leftist organization immediately filed a lawsuit contesting Idaho’s Fairness Act. The ACLU also sent a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), pressuring the sports association to boycott Idaho from holding any NCAA sporting events.

Despite these threats to the Fairness Act, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has rightly spoken up to back the constitutionality of the bill. DOJ’s Attorney General William P. Barr states this on the action: “Allowing biological males to compete in all-female sports is fundamentally unfair to female athletes. Under the Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause allows Idaho to recognize the physiological differences between the biological sexes in athletics.”

DOJ’s involvement in the federal lawsuit gives needed lift in protecting female athletes’ rights, especially those facing the problem on the front lines. Mary Kate Marshall and Madison Kenyon, two Idaho college track athletes who have faced this unjust competition in the Big Sky Conference, have joined the state of Idaho in defense of the Fairness Act, opposing the ACLU’s lawsuit. Victory in this case would ensure female athletes continued equal opportunity in championships, scholarships, and fairly competing at their best.

The track and cross-country athlete, Madison Kenyon, had this to say: “Sex separation in sports helps ensure that males and females each enjoy opportunities for fair competition and victory. It helps ensure that if women like me work hard, that hard work pays off, and we have a shot at winning.”

This summer marked the 48th anniversary of Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits students participating in any education program or activity from being discriminated against on the basis of sex. Title IX established a way for female student-athletes to have equal opportunity and fair competition within women’s sports. According to The Women’s Sports Foundation, only one in 27 girls participated in school sports before Title IX, but since the creation of Title IX, two in five girls now participate in school sports. We must now realize that by allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports, female student-athletes will be hindered in participating and fairly competing in the long run.

The Trump Justice Department’s support, state lawmakers’ proposed legislation, and citizens speaking up for fairness and equity in women’s sports competition are big wins for conserving female athletes’ rights. The conflict has not been won, however, due to intense activist opposition. Concerned Women for America urges you to use your voice to support an equal playing field for all female student-athletes.

ACT NOW:  It’s time for the NCAA to defend, not undermine, female athletes. If you are a current or former NCAA or professional female athlete who cares about fairness in women’s sports, please sign this letter to the NCAA! The deadline to sign is July 24.

House Democrats Just Set Up a Shutdown

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CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations Doreen Denny published the following op-ed in Townhall:

“House Democrats unveiled their fiscal year 2021 spending bills, and they are nothing short of a dare. The bills challenge any notion of moderation, laying down the gauntlet for a budget showdown that will lead nowhere but a government shutdown.

One would think the combination of a worldwide pandemic, weeks-long protests, and only a month’s worth of days left on the legislative calendar before the new fiscal year begins would be a recipe for restraint. Instead, Democrat appropriators act emboldened by intense polarization and prevailing poll numbers – as if pushing poison pill policy riders will score additional points to secure their cause.

Last July, anticipating the inevitable heat rising in an election-year, a two-year bipartisan agreement was forged to avert such recklessness. Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer joined their Republican counterparts and the White House in penning a noteworthy bipartisan budget agreement: “The 2019 Bipartisan Budget Agreement for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 (“Agreement”) is agreed to by the bipartisan leadership of Congress and the administration of Donald J. Trump … relative to the FY 2019 regular appropriations Acts, there will be no poison pills, additional new riders, additional CHIMPS, or other changes in policy or conventions that allow for higher spending levels, or any non-appropriations measures unless agreed to on a bipartisan basis by the four leaders with the approval of the President.” (emphasis added)

Read Doreen’s entire op-ed here.

CWA Thanks Secretary of Education

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Cute Filipina Female Athlete

As we recognize the 48th Anniversary of Title IX this week, Penny Nance sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos encouraging decisive action to enforce Title IX’s mandate of equal opportunity and protection on the basis of biological sex, including for female athletes.  She also requested action on CWA’s civil rights complaints against two universities for violating the Title IX rights of female college athletes because they rostered male athletes identifying as women to compete on their women’s teams, winning conference and national championships:

“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of women supporters of Concerned Women for America (CWA) around the nation, I want to thank you and the Trump Administration for the Department of Education’s (ED) support to protect female student-athletes under Title IX. We also write to urge you to take proactive measures to ensure consistency, equality, and fair play in every athletics department in every educational institution across the country…

“CWA currently has two complaints before ED’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), where two institutions (Franklin Pierce University and the University of Montana) have engaged in blatant violations of Title IX protections for female student-athletes by allowing biological men to compete on women’s teams in athletic competitions, inflicting irreparable inequity and injury to their college careers…

“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.”

Read the entire letter to Secretary DeVos here.

Despite Bad Ruling at the Supreme Court, HHS Issues Final Rule Upholding Traditional Definition of Sex

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Last year,  President Trump, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), proposed a rule to overturn an erroneous interpretation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that redefined the word “sex” to include “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy.” Concerned Women for America supporters mobilized in support of this change, submitting some 2,000 comments in favor of this essential regulatory change to protect life and health.

Last week, HHS announced the final rule to make this fix permanent and in doing so reasserted the rule of law that government regulations must be consistent with laws passed by Congress. The new rule clarifies that Section 1557 of the ACA does not force a recipient of federal funding to include abortion or gender transition treatment as a mandate to comply with anti-discrimination laws based on sex.

CWA called it the Conscience Care Rule because HHS has acted to restore consistency with the First Amendment and the intent and longstanding interpretation of civil rights laws. It also upholds the integrity of pro-life policy, conscience rights, and religious liberty protections in current law.

With the Supreme Court issuing a horrible ruling this week that transgender status must now be interpreted as “sex” under Title VII workplace discrimination laws, the HHS rule change is an essential and timely clarification that the federal definition of sex discrimination under health care programs does not include abortion or gender identity, but aligns with biological sex. For many healthcare providers, performing abortions or providing sex reassignment treatment is a violation of conscience and sound medical practice.

The HHS Conscience Care Rule represents a final roll back of the Obama-era regulation which had been blocked by a federal court that agreed the mandate to redefine sex exceeded its statutory authority. It also lifts many costly regulatory requirements, such as requiring insurance companies to explain benefits in writing in 16 languages. This rule is estimated to save taxpayers $3.6 billion over five years.

We applaud the Trump Administration for holding true to the text of the ACA statute, not an activist interpretation as Obama did. Congress’ sole responsibility to write the law under Article 1 of the Constitution should not be defied by administrative activism in the executive branch or judicial activism in the courts.

Recent Dept. of Educ. Ruling: CT Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s (CIAC) Policy Allowing Biological Males to Compete in Women’s Sports Violates Title IX

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CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations appeared on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins to discuss the recent Department of Education ruling that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s (CIAC) policy allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports violates Title IX. She was featured along with Christiana Holcomb, Legal Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.

Listen to the Entire Show Here and Hear Doreen Beginning at 36:30:

Victory in Women’s Sports Civil Rights Case Carries Warning: Don’t Deny Female Athletes Equal Opportunity

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Washington, D.C. – Concerned Women for America (CWA) applauds the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for taking a significant step in the fight to protect the integrity of women’s sports. The ED Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has correctly ruled that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) and associated schools are in violation of Title IX regulations prohibiting sex discrimination for denying female student-athletes benefits and opportunities in girls’ track by allowing the participation of male students. Among the findings: “CIAC treated students differently based on sex, by denying opportunities and benefits to female student-athletes that were available to male student-athletes.”

CWA filed a similar civil rights complaint at the college level against Franklin Pierce University for unfairly winning a national NCAA title in the 400-meter women’s hurdles with a biological male athlete.  That case is still under investigation by OCR, and we believe a similar action should follow.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, had this to say:

“Concerned Women for America supporters from around the country have stood at the forefront of the fight to protect equal opportunity in women’s sports.  We applaud the Office for Civil Rights for finally taking action to recognize that female athletes are being denied their rights and that schools are violating the law.

“From middle school sports to the Olympics, 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 athletes over 40 years ago.

“The ruling in this case shows just how twisted and off-track women’s sports has become, and it carries a warning for all schools: don’t deny female athletes equal opportunity. CWA urges swift action on our complaint in college sports where the NCAA and member schools continue to trample the rights of female college athletes.

“This is not a left or right issue.  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.”

Bearing the Burden of Proof: What the 1990’s in the Senate Should Have Taught Joe Biden

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CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations Doreen Denny published the following op-ed in Townhall:

“Joe Biden is now bearing the burden of proof from 27-year-old sexual assault allegations from former staffer Tara Reade. Reviewing the lessons members of Congress should have learned in the 1990’s – lessons from the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings to the Contract with America– makes Biden’s tone-deaf denials even more fantastical.

In 1994, midway through President Bill Clinton’s first term, the Contract with America galvanized voters in federal elections with its pledge to make Congress more accountable to the American people. Its success installed a Republican majority in the House and Senate who promised major legislative reforms, the first being to apply all laws to Congress that apply to the rest of the country.

In 1995, as soon as the 104th Congress was sworn in, Republicans went to work to pass the Congressional Accountability Act. To symbolize their high priority for action, it was introduced as H.R. 1 in the House and S. 2 in the Senate. The bill proposed to extend the same workplace protections against discrimination required of the private sector to the legislative branch. Until then, Congress had not been willing or accountable to live under standards they imposed on the rest of American workplaces, including laws against sexual harassment and assault.”

Read Doreen’s Entire Piece Here:

 

Judge Who Banned Calling Trans Athletes ‘Male’ Has A History Of Favoring Sexual Predators

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CWA’s CEO and President Penny Young Nance wrote the following op-ed published in The Federalist:

“The year was 2010. President Barack Obama was in office, and Democrats controlled the Senate. Obama could practically get any judge he wanted, but he could not get his nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Robert Chatigny, confirmed based on Chatigny’s track record of favoring sexual predators over women and children. Now this same judge is prejudicing the case against female athletes by imposing a speech code on their counsel.

Judge Chatigny has a very troubling record. As I wrote at the time, serial killer Michael Ross explained in a documentary how he bound 14-year-old Leslie Shelley, stuffed her in his car trunk, and “took the other [14-year-old] girl, April Brunais, out, and I raped her and killed her, and I put her in the front seat.” Ross said he had killed eight women and girls, ranging in age from 14 to 25, and if he hadn’t been arrested, he would still be killing.

Yet Chatigny said Ross “never should have been convicted.” Chatigny suggested that “sexual sadism is clearly a mitigating factor.” So, according to this judge, sexual sadists deserve less time in prison because they are sick.”

Read Penny’s Entire Piece Here:

Podcast: #MeToo Kavanaugh v. Biden – Due Process In All Cases

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Now that Presidential Candidate Joe Biden is accused by Tara Reade of Sexual Assault, the same democratic senators like Kirsten Gillibrand and Maize Hirono and Hollywood celebrities like Alyssa Milano and Amy Schumer are echoing our very sentiments from the Kavanaugh days of due process! At the end of the day, principles and consistency are important. Women should have the freedom to come forward and tell their stories but it must be investigated. Listen as our CEO and President, Penny Nance hosts and our VP of Government Relations, Doreen Denny discuss the latest.

Click Here to Hear This Latest Podcast.

International Coalition Of Women’s Groups Sign Petition Pushing Olympic Committee To Bar Biological Males From Competing As Females

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CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations Doreen Denny was featured in this Daily Caller article published this week.

“A coalition of international women’s groups have signed a petition urging the International Olympic Committee to suspend their guidelines allowing transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports.

Save Women’s Sports spearheaded the petition Monday, pushing the IOC to re-evaluate their transgender participation guidelines, which permit biological males who identify as female to participate in women’s sports.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were postponed until July 2021. The IOC announced that it would wait until after the Olympics to publish new guidelines on transgender athletes.

Save Women’s Sports is urging the IOC to use the delay as an opportunity to re-examine the policies allowing transgendered people to compete in women’s sports, which the group says has “potentially devastating effects” and discriminates against women on the basis of sex.

“I looked at the IOC standards in 2015 thinking it would be the gold standard,” Linda Blade, a co-founder of Save Womens Sports told the Daily Caller. “And out of the blue they decided a man can self-identify as a woman and live like a woman and decrease testosterone a little bit,  which is still more than what females are allowed to have, and just go into Olympic sports.””

Read the Entire Article Here to See Doreen Denny’s Comments: