Sanctity of Life

CWA Stands for Free Speech at the U.S. Supreme Court

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NIFLA v. Becerra Oral Arguments Recap

It was a cold, rainy day in the nation’s capital today, but that didn’t stop your representatives from Concerned Women for America (CWA) from being present inside and outside the United States Supreme Court to stand for freedom of speech and for life. We were there as the Court heard oral arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.

CWA National Field Director Janae Stracke spoke at the rally on the steps of the Supreme Court where numerous groups stood together to send a message to the Court that the American people are paying attention to this case.  Janae praised the work of our CWA of California members who have fought against this law since it was first proposed and energized the valiant crowd, which stood there, despite the challenging weather.

Check out some of the highlights:

I was inside the courtroom to hear the arguments and was able to commend the petitioners, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). NIFLA has been in our prayers throughout the entire process, and we commend them for how they have stood so strong as the case moved through the lower courts.  I was reminded that CWA actually helped start the organization back in 1993, under the leadership of our friend Thomas Glessner, who still serves as the organization’s president. We thank God for their work.

As an allied attorney, I was also proud to see our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom give another stellar performance before the Court.  Michael Farris, ADF’s president, argued the case before the justices, and he was calm under intense questioning.

The justice’s interest was evident. Farris started by highlighting the gerrymandering aspects of the case, which are troubling. So troubling they piqued the interest of one of the most liberal members of the court, Justice Elena Kagan. It is evident the State of California wrote this law in such a way as to target pro-life clinics specifically.  The state, represented by Mr. Joshua Klein, tried to argue it was a generally applicable law, not intended to target anyone, but in this, he failed in my estimation.

Justice Samuel Alito honed in on it, asking the state, “If you have a law that’s neutral on its face, but then it has a lot of crazy exemptions, and when you apply all the exemptions, what you’re left with is a very strange pattern and, gee, it turns out that just about the only clinics that are covered by this are pro-life clinics. Do you think it’s possible to infer intentional discrimination in that situation?”

The state had to admit that, yes, it would be a fair inference, even as they denied that was the case here.

The burdensome requirements of this law were also front and center. Justice Sonia Sotomayor tried to get the state to answer a simple question about if a clinic that merely wanted to put up a billboard that said, “Pro-Life” with their logo, would be required to put up the disclaimer at issue in the same size font and in multiple languages.  Mr. Klein danced around on the question until Justice Alito pinned him down and he admitted that, yes, they would be required to put up the disclaimer on the billboard.

Justice Anthony Kenned was visibly disturbed and had this exchange:

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Do you agree that mandating speech that the speaker would not otherwise give — indeed, does not agree with — alters the content of the message?

KLEIN: Yes, it does, Your Honor.

JUSTICE KENNEDY: All right. So then you are saying on this billboard, the state can require that the message be — the content of the message be altered, even though they are not providing medical services?

Even Justice Sotomayor returned once more to her hypothetical expressed concerns with the state’s position:

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Would it be fair to say — and I still don’t have a full answer to my question — all right, pro-life, nothing else, an unlicensed facility, it meets all of the criteria, has an ad that says just “pro-life” and puts its name. Does it have to give the notice; yes or no?

KLEIN: Yes, if it meets the other criteria. And it’s possible in an as-applied challenge –­

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: That seems to me more burdensome and wrong because it’s not tied to an advertisement that is promoting medical services.

It is indeed wrong, and it is one of the reasons why the Court should invalidate the statute here and rule for the pro-life clinics.

Continue to pray for this case. A desicion is expected next summer.

CWA to Ireland’s Prime Minister: Protect the Children!

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CWA House Legislative Director, Jaime Ballew, met with members of Ireland Family and Life earlier this week.  The topic: Ireland’s 8th amendment.  It is a life-affirming law in Ireland that gives equal status to mothers and unborn babies but is under threat of repeal.  This amendment is a beacon of hope to America and has saved the lives of more than 100,000 Irish babies!!  Prime Minister Varadkar was here on Thursday to meet with President Trump for the traditional St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.  CWA signed a letter, along with other pro-life organizations, that was delivered to the Prime Minister asking him to protect the 8th amendment and uphold the right to life and the dignity of all persons.

Join CWA at the Supreme Court this Coming Tuesday

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

This coming Tuesday, March 20, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a very important pro-life, free speech case: National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.  And Concerned Women for America (CWA) will be in front of the Supreme Court to rally for freedom and for life.

This is the case I’ve written to you about, where pro-life clinics are being forced, under threat of law, to promote abortion services. The case challenges California’s Reproductive FACT Act (AB 775), which our CWA of California leaders fought so valiantly as it was proposed, because it was a law specifically designed to curtail pro-life clinics’ effectiveness by capriciously requiring them to do what the government could have done much more easily, without infringing on constitutional rights.

If you remember, under this law, pro-life clinics are required to post a notice that must read in multiple languages: “California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].”

In some cases that county office will refer women to Planned Parenthood!

The law also required unlicensed pregnancy centers to put up large signs saying: “This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.”

Not only that, the law also requires them to place a similar notice on the pro-life clinic’s advertisement.  The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), who will be arguing the case at the Supreme Court, recently showed what that would look like if a clinic just wanted to advertise their phone number:

Simply Outrageous!

Our First Amendment right to freedom of speech includes not only the right to speak without government silencing you, but also the freedom not to be forced to speak what you don’t want to say.

This is not a religious liberty case, but the implications for religious liberty are daunting. The government in this case is not only forcing clinics and their workers to say something they don’t want to say, it is forcing people of faith to be involved in something that infringes upon their conscience.  And it is completely unnecessary, as we’ve already mentioned.

This should be a 9-0 victory for NIFLA. It is that clear. Other courts have invalidated similar laws in places like Maryland, New York, and Texas. No one should be forced to violate their conscience in order to make government’s job easier.

But, as we know, it is more than about the law when we have judges willing to go beyond the scope of their judicial role.  So, may I ask you to be in prayer daily for this important case?  Pray for Michael Farris and his team, who will be arguing the case, and pray for the justices.

Also, if you are in the Washington, D.C., area, come down to the steps of the Supreme Court on Tuesday (8am-noon). We would love to meet you and stand alongside you as we stand for our constitutional rights and for life.


You’ve Gotta Love Gerber

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

No, I’m not a paid spokesperson for Gerber. However, in case you haven’t heard, Gerber chose one-year-old Lucas Warren from Dalton, Georgia, as its 2018 Gerber baby.  What’s so special about that? Lucas is the first child with Down syndrome to be chosen.

Well done, Gerber!

Whether they know it or not, Gerber is showing the beauty and worth of children with Down syndrome at a time when they are being targeted for extermination because of their disability. I want to take a moment and publicly thank the company for such a benevolent gesture.

It might not seem like much, but to affirm the intrinsic value of all human life requires courage in our day and age.

Gerber is not merely being charitable with their pick. One look at baby Lucas, and anyone can easily see that this is a special child whose smile represents the best of our humanity. Check out this interview on the Today Show:


Bill Partyka, CEO and president of Gerber, said, “Every year, we choose the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby. This year, Lucas is the perfect fit.”

Lucas’ mom, Cortney, said, “We’re hoping when he grows up and looks back on this, he’ll be proud of himself and not ashamed of his disability.”

What beautiful words. May God bless this mother and family, and especially this baby boy.

This story reminds us of the transcendent truth that we are all created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). It is He who gives life. “He made us, and not we ourselves,” (Psalm 100:3). Therefore, when we respect and celebrate each other, we respect and celebrate our Maker.

When we celebrate Lucas, we celebrate God.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is Concerned Women for America’s legal counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

CWA at Walk for Life West Coast

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This past weekend, tens of thousands of Pro-Lifers gathered together at the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, California. Concerned Women for America and Young Women for America leaders and members were able to walk for the millions of babies who were never given a chance to do so. We stood with our brothers and sisters of different faiths, denominations, races, and ethnicities and prayed. We prayed for lives to be spared. We prayed for mothers who enter into clinics. We prayed for abortion clinic workers and doctors. We prayed for revived hearts in our communities and across our country to see the value of life and the pain of abortion. We prayed for those who live in guilt or grief over a lost son, daughter, grandson, niece, brother or sister. We prayed for those around us who were hurting.

As we finished praying and began filling the street, groups of people began worshiping in their different languages. The entire march down Market Street was inspiring and humbling. We walked shoulder-to-shoulder with women carrying signs that read, “I regret my abortion.” As we approached Fifth Street, San Francisco police officers lined the street and created a wall between counter-protestors and the walk. Walking in San Francisco was a much different experience compared to the March for Life in Washington, D.C.  Grotesque signs, chants, screaming, sirens, and police officers made for a much more tension-filled walked.

Strong, shameless rhetoric lined the street plastered on signs and banners. The phrase we saw the most reads, “FREE ABORTION ON DEMAND WITHOUT APOLOGY.” However, the one that struck me the most, which I have seen many other times, says, “ABORTION SAVES LIVES.” I read that and stood still for a few moments. I looked around at the two sides and the police in between us. I felt the tension, the hurt, the anger. It was tangible.

These past few weeks have been heart-wrenching for many of us on the CWA staff. We have heard countless stories from women who have had abortions, from nurses who have helped perform them, and from children who have survived them. We have cried with these women and men.

And we will not give up. It is for our courageous leaders and supporters who have experienced loss that we continue to fight. In the midst of so much pain, there is HOPE. There is an abundance of peace, comfort and hope found in Jesus.

We have hope.

CWA Hard at Work on the Pain Capable Bill

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On Monday, January 29, the Senate failed to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. This legislation, sometimes referred to as the 20 Week Ban, protects unborn children nationwide after 20 weeks’ gestation based on the scientific fact that an unborn child can feel pain in utero. This legislation also protects women who face a substantially higher risk of complications from a late-term abortion.

Although it was highly unlikely the bill would pass, Penny Nance, CWA CEO and President; Caroline Aderholt, CWA Chief of Staff, and Jaime Ballew, CWA Legislative Director, met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) several times to encourage him to put the bill on the floor. Each time there was hesitation because although we had worked since January to get cosponsors, there were no Democrat cosponsors on the Senate bill. Leader McConnell finally agreed to a vote, and we knew the stakes were high. The last time the Senate voted on this bill was in 2015 and although it failed, three Democrat Senators who are still serving, Sens. Manchin (D-West Virginia), Casey (D-Pennsylvania) and Donnelly (D-Indiana), voted in favor of the bill. We could not lose these Senators this time around.

Once we had a date for a vote, we activated our faithful grassroots to contact their senators and encourage them to vote in favor of this legislation. In CWA’s national office, we were working up until the vote took place to ensure your voice was being heard.

CWA national staff headed to Capitol Hill Monday to lobby Senators we knew would be on the fence or are facing reelection. Watch the Facebook Live from that morning to hear some statistics surrounding the bill and which Senators we were visiting. Letters urging a “Yes” vote were delivered by CWA staff to six offices.  Janae Stracke, CWA National Field Director and Annabelle Rutledge, CWA Communications Coordinator, stayed on the Hill all day listening to the arguments on the floor and live-tweeting at senators. They were joined by Penny in the Senate gallery for the vote.

The bill failed on a vote 51-46 with Democrat Senators from overtly pro-life states choosing to vote against their constituents. You can learn how your Senator voted here.

The vote was disappointing but not unexpected. The Democrats may be acting out of their own interest, but science, common sense, and the majority of Americans (60%) are on our side. So we got right back to work. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) asked Penny to a meeting in his office with other pro-life leaders immediately following the vote. The Senator tweeted a picture of everyone in his office and said “Vote just ended, and I’m already meeting with leaders of the #ProLife movement. Tomorrow, we start building additional support for Pain Capable. I have no doubt we will eventually be victorious! #TheyFeelPain

Since the vote, we have been calling out Senators who chose to vote “No” instead of representing their states. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Sen. Doug Jones (D-Alabama), and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) each represent pro-life states but chose to ignore their constituents who wanted a “Yes” vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. We posted a video of Sen. Heitkamp high-fiving Sen. Schumer (D-New York) after voting no, highlighting how out of touch she is with her home state. You can see the video here. \

Every senator who voted against this bill chose to side with human rights violators like China and North Korea where no such abortion restriction exists, instead of Americans who overwhelmingly want this enacted nationwide. Imagine that in a campaign ad.

Although this bill failed to pass this time around, we are able to use this vote to our advantage in the future and are confident that we can use this bill to move the needle on life at the Federal level.

How Did Your Senator Vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act?

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As you are probably aware, S. 2311, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, failed to overcome a filibuster in the U.S. Senate last week. The vote was 51-46. Sixty votes were needed to overcome the filibuster.

This simple, straightforward bill would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks past conception when science suggests babies start to feel pain. Twenty weeks is five months.  That is a significant time in development.

In this Baby Center video, you can get an idea of what is happening inside the womb at this point. You have a fully developed baby that sucks his or her thumb, makes faces, and can hear his or her mother’s voice. As the pregnancy video suggests, between 15 to 20 weeks, “your baby may be able to hear your heartbeat and voice. So, read aloud or sing a happy tune.”

The image is clear.  This is why polling shows that two-thirds of Americans support the Pain-Capable legislation. They can see that these babies should be protected.  Support for the legislation includes more than half of those who self-describe as “pro-choice.”

But, believe it or not, many in the U.S. Senate believe these babies should also be able to be killed, if unwanted, regardless of the pain they might feel. Their radicalism is so extreme it should not be tolerated in a civilized society.

So, how did your senator vote?  Did he or she support or oppose protecting innocent babies? Here is the list by states in alphabetical order:



Jones (D-AL), Opposed

Shelby (R-AL), Supported



Murkowski (R-AK), Opposed

Sullivan (R-AK), Supported



Flake (R-AZ), Supported

McCain (R-AZ), Did not vote



Boozman (R-AR), Supported

Cotton (R-AR), Supported



Feinstein (D-CA), Opposed

Harris (D-CA), Opposed



Bennet (D-CO), Opposed

Gardner (R-CO), Supported



Blumenthal (D-CT), Opposed

Murphy (D-CT), Opposed



Carper (D-DE), Opposed

Coons (D-DE), Opposed



Nelson (D-FL), Did not vote

Rubio (R-FL), Supported



Isakson (R-GA), Supported

Perdue (R-GA), Supported



Hirono (D-HI), Opposed

Schatz (D-HI), Opposed



Crapo (R-ID), Supported

Risch (R-ID), Supported



Duckworth (D-IL), Opposed

Durbin (D-IL), Opposed



Donnelly (D-IN), Supported

Young (R-IN), Supported



Ernst (R-IA), Supported

Grassley (R-IA), Supported



Moran (R-KS), Supported

Roberts (R-KS), Supported



McConnell (R-KY), Supported

Paul (R-KY), Supported



Cassidy (R-LA), Supported

Kennedy (R-LA), Supported



Collins (R-ME), Opposed

King (I-ME), Opposed



Cardin (D-MD), Opposed

Van Hollen (D-MD), Opposed



Markey (D-MA), Opposed

Warren (D-MA), Opposed



Peters (D-MI), Opposed

Stabenow (D-MI), Opposed



Klobuchar (D-MN), Opposed

Smith (D-MN), Opposed



Cochran (R-MS), Supported

Wicker (R-MS), Supported




Daines (R-MT), Supported

Tester (D-MT), Opposed


Blunt (R-MO), Supported

McCaskill (D-MO), Opposed



Fischer (R-NE), Supported

Sasse (R-NE), Supported



Cortez Masto (D-NV), Opposed

Heller (R-NV), Supported


New Hampshire:

Hassan (D-NH), Opposed

Shaheen (D-NH), Opposed


New Jersey:

Booker (D-NJ), Opposed

Menendez (D-NJ), Opposed


New Mexico:

Heinrich (D-NM), Opposed

Udall (D-NM), Opposed


New York:

Gillibrand (D-NY), Opposed

Schumer (D-NY), Opposed


North Carolina:

Burr (R-NC), Supported

Tillis (R-NC), Supported


North Dakota:

Heitkamp (D-ND), Opposed

Hoeven (R-ND), Supported



Brown (D-OH), Opposed

Portman (R-OH), Supported



Inhofe (R-OK), Supported

Lankford (R-OK), Supported



Merkley (D-OR), Opposed

Wyden (D-OR), Opposed



Casey (D-PA), Supported

Toomey (R-PA), Supported


Rhode Island:

Reed (D-RI), Opposed

Whitehouse (D-RI), Opposed


South Carolina:

Graham (R-SC), Supported

Scott (R-SC), Supported


South Dakota:

Rounds (R-SD), Supported

Thune (R-SD), Supported



Alexander (R-TN), Supported

Corker (R-TN), Supported



Cornyn (R-TX), Supported

Cruz (R-TX), Supported



Hatch (R-UT), Supported

Lee (R-UT), Supported



Leahy (D-VT), Opposed

Sanders (I-VT), Opposed



Kaine (D-VA), Opposed

Warner (D-VA), Opposed



Cantwell (D-WA), Opposed

Murray (D-WA), Opposed


West Virginia:

Capito (R-WV), Supported

Manchin (D-WV), Supported



Baldwin (D-WI), Did not vote

Johnson (R-WI), Supported



Barrasso (R-WY), Supported

Enzi (R-WY), Supported

If your senators supported this commonsense legislation, they should be commended.  But if your senator is so radical that he or she cannot protect babies at five months of development, you should contact their office and ask at what point would they be willing to protect them. Would he or she protect them at 25 weeks? How about at 30? How about the day before they are born? How about a baby past its due date? Can it be terminated, without regard to the pain he or she might feel?

I know this sounds ridiculous, but these are legitimate questions in this day and age.  The House of Representatives just voted on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, and it passed by a vote of 241-183.  Think about that, 183 of our representatives voted against protecting babies born alive after a failed abortion procedure.

The situation is dire. We must continue to raise our voices against these inhumane practices until we get enough people in the Congress with the moral character to stand up for the least of these — the innocent unborn child.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is Concerned Women for America’s legal counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Senate Failed to Pass Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

By | Blog, Missouri, News and Events, North Dakota, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, the Senate failed to pass S. 2311, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, by a vote of 51-46. This bill would have ended elective abortions after 20 weeks.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued the following statement:

“Senators like Doug Jones (D-Alabama), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), and Claire McCaskell (D-Missouri), who represent states where voters overwhelmingly support life, will have much to answer for in their next election.

“Today, these senators had a chance to stand for life. They chose to vote against life. They had a chance to defend the dignity of both children and their mothers. Instead, they voted without regard for the most vulnerable among us.

“The United States calls itself a champion of human rights but is one of only seven nations to allow abortion after 20 weeks when it has been proven that babies feel extreme pain. Today, we continue to align ourselves with countries such as China, North Korea, and Vietnam.

“A recent Marist poll showed that 60% of Americans support ending abortions after 20 weeks, but that majority had no voice today. It’s time to do better.”

For an interview with Penny Nance, contact Annabelle Rutledge at or 916-792-3973.

House Votes to Protect Infants Born Alive After Abortions

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

Washington, D.C. – Today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4712, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by a vote of 241-183. This bill requires any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and to ensure that such child is immediately admitted to a hospital.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, issued the following statement:

“The House has passed commonsense reform that protects infants who are born alive after an attempted abortion. The bill requires appropriate medical care for any child who survives an attempted abortion, as well as establishes criminal penalties for health-care practitioners who violate this requirement. However, the mother of the child born alive may rightly not be prosecuted.

“This is not a restriction on abortion or a way to prosecute women who have abortions. This guarantees that if a child is born alive, he or she will receive the medical care that would otherwise occur if the child was born at that gestation under normal circumstances. This bill places sole responsibility on the medical provider to not simply let the child starve, suffocate, or die of other means, but to fulfill their oath of doing no harm.

“After the horrific Gosnell case and the Center for Medical Progress videos that show Planned Parenthood staff admitting that they perform abortions in specific ways that cause these children to be born alive for tissue procurement preferences, this reform is necessary.”