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Minnesota

House Republican Appropriators Seek to Restore Pro-Life Protections

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

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.

CWA Twin Cities Prayer/Action Chapter Kick-Off – Friday, August 14

By | Minnesota | No Comments

(Do you, or someone you know, live in or around the Twin Cities in Hennepin County?  Either way, please read on.)

Hello, I am Grace Page-Teah, the new Concerned Women for America (CWA) Prayer/Action Chapter Leader of the Twin Cities. I am very excited to announce that our kick-off meeting will be held on Friday, August 14, hosted by both my husband Oliver and me.

No doubt you are as concerned as I am about the many moral issues threatening our community, state, and nation today. Most people want to work to create a better nation for our children and grandchildren but are unsure of the steps to take.

That is why my husband and I are involved today, and why I invite you to join me at our kick-off meeting. Our Prayer/Action Chapter will meet once a month to educate ourselves on one or more of CWA’s seven core issues, and then pray and take action on the issue(s). Join us and enjoy fellowship with like-minded individuals. If you are unable to attend our first meeting, be sure to contact me and ask to be put on my email list for future meetings.

When: Friday, August 14, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All following meetings will be held the first Friday of every month.
Where: Maple Grove, Minnesota. Contact me to RSVP and for the meeting location.
What: Kickoff Meet & Greet. There will be a brief CWA presentation, prayer, fellowship, and refreshments.
RSVP: Please RSVP by Wednesday, August 12. Contact me at [email protected].
Be sure to provide your phone number.

(If you are uncomfortable meeting in person, consider our Zoom option available upon request.)

Flyer: Please print and distribute freely.

Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Please plan to attend and be sure to bring a friend! Women, men, and teens are all encouraged and welcome to attend.

If you do not live in the Twin Cities area, but would like information on how to start a chapter in your area, please reach out to CWA’s national office today. They will be happy to assist and train you as they did me.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Grace Page-Teah
Twin Cities Prayer/Action Chapter Leader
CWA of Minnesota
[email protected]

“Do not be afraid.”

By | Blog, Minnesota, News and Events, She Prays She Votes 2020 | No Comments

“Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14

 We have chosen Nehemiah 4:14 as the foundational Scripture for our She Prays, She Votes 2020 project. Let me remind you of the context of this verse. Nehemiah has come to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon. His task is to lead the remnant of Israel in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. A number of attempts have been made by their enemies to keep them from rebuilding. At this point, the threat had become physical. “All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it.” Nehemiah 4:8. 

 In verse 14, Nehemiah tells the workers, “Do not be afraid of them.” These are such good words for us today. With all of the uncertainty in our world both physical and political, it is easy to be afraid. Fear is a very human emotion. We read “Do not fear” many times in Scripture.  But sometimes our humanness wins that battle.  But we cannot let the fear incapacitate us. It is like the fireman as he faces the burning building; he knows the fire, and he fears the fire, but his fear does not keep him from running into that building. It is his job and his sworn duty to run into that building. I believe it is also our duty as Christians to face the fear of the unknown in which we live – to remember the Lord who is great and awesome. 

 As we enter this uncertain election time, we must not let fear incapacitate us. We must move into this time seeking the Lord and praying daily for the election process and all of those who are running.  Just as Nehemiah’s workers held a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other, we must continue to be salt and light by holding up God’s Word and doing the work to which He has called us. 

 We are asking you to join us as we beseech the Father for His blessing and favor on our nation. Look for our information and registration packets next week for She Prays, She Votes 2020. 

Introducing She Prays, She Votes 2020

By | Blog, Minnesota, News and Events, She Prays She Votes 2020 | No Comments

Introducing She Prays, She Votes 2020

The main goal of She Prays, She Votes 2020 will be prayer.  Now more than ever, Christians need to be on their knees before God to pray for our nation, for our leaders, and for this election.

We will be hosting ten prayer calls between now and Election Day in November. These calls will happen on each Thursday of the week from August 6 up until the last week in October. In each call, we will be focusing on a state where the election results are critical, but the main focus of these calls will be to seek God first and beseech Him for our nation. Every week we will be sending out details for the call that week and the one for the next week – when, how to connect and who will be joining us on the call to pray.

The secondary goal of this project is to get people out to vote. We will be working on making sure people are registered to vote and that they know where to go to do that. We will be providing information to help people walk through that process and, hopefully, inspire them to action. We are putting together packets of information that you will be able to download and share with your family and friends.

Please join us as we make a difference in Election 2020!

Minnesota’s Political Apparel Ban “Incapable of Reasoned Application”

By | Legal, Minnesota, News and Events | No Comments

The United States Supreme Court released today its decision in an important First Amendment case coming from the state of Minnesota, Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky. In an emphatic 7-2 opinion, the Court declared unconstitutional an ambiguous law that banned “political” apparel at polling places on Election Day.

Not having defined what exactly the law means by “political,” the interpretation and application were left to various election judges at the polls. But Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, rightly pointed out that these judges, “must be guided by objective, workable standards.” “Without them,” he said, “an election judge’s own politics may shape his views on what counts as ‘political.’”

His point was clearly illustrated at oral arguments when the state’s attorney’s arbitrary determinations were put to the test.  As the Chief Justice recounts:

A shirt declaring “All Lives Matter,” we are told, could be “perceived” as political. How about a shirt bearing the name of the National Rifle Association? Definitely out. That said, a shirt displaying a rainbow flag could be worn “unless there was an issue on the ballot” that “related somehow … to gay rights.” A shirt simply displaying the text of the Second Amendment? Prohibited. But a shirt with the text of the First Amendment? “It would be allowed.” (Citations omitted)

In this specific case, the state banned buttons that read “Please I.D. Me,” even though the voter I.D. issue was not on the ballot. The state relied only on the fact that some candidates apparently had addressed the issue at some point.  To grant such broad latitude on the state’s ability to infringe on our First Amendment rights should be troubling to anyone, regardless of political philosophy.

Chief Justice Roberts asked keenly, “Would a ‘Support Our Troops’ shirt be banned, if one of the candidates or parties had expressed a view on military funding or aid for veterans? What about a ‘#MeToo’ shirt, referencing the movement to increase awareness of sexual harassment and assault?”

He concluded, “A rule whose fair enforcement requires an election judge to maintain a mental index of the platforms and positions of every candidate and party on the ballot is not reasonable.”

And reasonableness was the fundamental question for the Court as it considered the law’s constitutionality. Supreme Court precedent had already determined that polling places are non-public forums for First Amendment considerations. The Court has recognized that historically (See Burson v. Freeman, 504 U.S. 191 (1992)), states have a considerable, even a compelling interest, in keeping voters in polling places safe and free from harassment as they undertake the solemn civic duty of casting their individual, private votes. The government, therefore, has much more flexibility in limiting speech in such specific areas.

Most states, in fact, have laws that prohibit electioneering within certain limits of voting places.  The Court has upheld them in the past. But in such instances, the law must be “reasonable in light of the purpose served by the forum,” (Cornelius v. NAACP Legal Defense, 473 U.S. 788, 806). In the case of polling places, the purpose is peaceful voting.

Minnesota’s law was not reasonable in light of that purpose.

The Chief Justice again: “[T]he State must be able to articulate some sensible basis for distinguishing what may come in from what must stay out. Here, the unmoored use of the term ‘political’ in Minnesota law, combined with haphazard interpretations … cause Minnesota’s restriction to fail even this forgiving test.”

The majority (Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito, and Elena Kagan) show great wisdom and discipline in this decision, ensuring that states tread lightly when they set out to impose burdens on our constitutional rights. This law was an open invitation for political abuse and manipulation, and the people of Minnesota deserve much better.

Human Rights Prayer Rally – A Great Success! Watch Event Video and View Media Coverage.

By | Minnesota, North Dakota | No Comments

Over 200 attended on November 25 in Moorhead, Minnesota outside of Planned Parenthood to speak out and pray for the unborn and their mothers including key note speaker Dr. Alveda King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece.  Click here to watch video.

Media coverage:
KVRR Local News coverage: Dr. King’s Niece Leads Pro-Life Rally at Moorhead’s Planned Parenthood
KFGO coverage: MLK Niece Speaks at Moorhead Anti-Abortion Rally
CWA coverage: Even the Media Can’t Deny the Numbers

CWA Marshall Prayer/Action Chapter Kick-Off Meeting To Be Held January 21!

By | Minnesota | No Comments

Do you, or someone you know, live in or near Marshall, Minnesota?  If so, read on.  If not, please consider starting a group in your area.  Contact us today to find out if there is a Chapter in your area and/or how to start one.

We are excited to announce the first meeting of the Marshall CWA Prayer/Action Chapter to be held on Thursday, January 21! 

No doubt you are as concerned about the many moral issues threatening our families and our nation today.  Most people want to respond and work to create a better nation for our children and grandchildren but are unsure of the steps to take. This meeting will help you discover how together we can make a difference in our community, as well as in our state and nation.

When: Thursday, January 21, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. (In case of inclement weather listen to KMHL radio 1400 AM for information.  Snow date is January 28 at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: Marshall Area Community Center at 107 S 4th St., Marshall, MN 56258

Bring: A friend. Women, men and teens are all welcome and encouraged to attend.

CWA Prayer/Action Chapter Leader: Arlene Markell

RSVP: Please contact Arlene at 507-530-1088 before January 19 if at all possible.

Arlene is excited to meet together with like-minded individuals like yourself to pray, be educated and take action on CWA’s seven core issues.

“Judeo-Christian values once served as the bedrock of Western Civilization. In recent times, Western Civilization has willingly chosen to exchange the faith and logic of a Biblical worldview for an irrational secularism based on an unthinking and cruel relativism. This foolish exchange is at the root of the glaring injustices of modern American public policy. Concerned Women for America affirms the Bible’s unmistakable standard that there is right and wrong, that God is the Authority who established right and wrong by creation and by revelation in His Word, the Bible, that He has sent a Savior Jesus Christ, to free us from our sin (wrong) by simple repentance and to enable us through the Holy Spirit to do what is right.

“Because the culture war that has engulfed our society makes claims on every area of life, we must set priorities thoughtfully to determine how best to fulfill our calling as believers to be salt and light in the community God has placed us.

“Please make plans now to attend our first meeting and be sure to invite a friend!  I look forward to meeting you!”

If you live in the area please do all you can to attend this kick-off meeting.  You will be glad you did.