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Legislative Updates

Bipartisan Duo in Congress Unites to Protect Women’s Sports

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

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

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

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

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

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

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

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, Women's Sports | 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

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

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, Women's Sports | 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, Women's Sports | 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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

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

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

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.