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Planned Parenthood

What You Can Do to Reject infanticide and the reckless crusade to expand late-term abortion!

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

The U.S. Senate is poised to vote Monday, February 25, on the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.  This crucial legislation would shield a newborn who survives an attempted abortion from being denied the right to live.  Doctors would be required to provide the same medical care to a newborn survivor of abortion that would be offered to any other baby at the same gestational age.

Unfortunately — unbelievably! — infants born alive are not guaranteed these protections under federal law, giving abortion doctors the green light to turn their backs on a helpless baby after a botched abortion.  Such negligence is nothing less than enabling infanticide.

We need you to act today.  Too many senators are in the pocket of the big abortion lobby.  They are doing everything they can to avoid the issue and obstruct a vote.   Even if your senators are strong on the life issue, they need to hear from you and know you are standing with them.

U.S. senators are home next week (February 19-22), and a vote is expected when they return.  We are asking you to visit the district offices nearest you NEXT WEEK and tell your two U.S. senators to reject infanticide and vote for the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

If you are unable to visit in person, please contact both of your senators.  Time is short, so please make this a priority! (Here is the link to our action center with a sample message you can personalize.)

It is unbelievable that saving a newborn baby fighting for life should be a partisan issue.  But the left has completely rejected common sense.  They are not willing to call infanticide for what it is and are spreading lies about the need for the legislation.  Here’s the truth: federal law does not protect a survivor of abortion.  At least one-third of states, including New York, have extreme abortion laws that make infanticide LEGAL.  Virginia Gov Ralph Northam publicly endorsed infanticide when he defended a radical abortion proposal that would make abortion legal at any time in pregnancy, including while giving birth!  This is insanity.

Thank you for taking action on this issue.  Please pray that the U.S. Senate will vote to save these little ones.

Wake Up America: Know Where Your State Stands on Abortion

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

This document provides an overview of state laws (as of February 8, 2019) as they relate to late-term abortion, born-alive protections, and public funding of abortion.

Some states adhere to the Roe standard of viability, which is defined by the Supreme Court in Roe as “the capacity for meaningful life outside the womb, albeit with artificial aid” and not just “momentary survival.” Unless specifically stated otherwise, references to “health” adhere to the definition of health in Doe v. Bolton: “all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient.” If a state is listed as “N/A,” then there are no state laws regarding either an abortion limit or exceptions. However, these states are subject to the federal precedent of viability in Roe, but if Roe were overturned, then these states would have no limits on abortion. [READ MORE …]

Denise Cappuccio at the Stop Abortion Extremism in Virginia Rally

By | News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, Virginia | No Comments

By now you’ve probably seen the shocking video that went viral showing Virginia Delegate Kathy Tran defending a bill that she introduced, which she freely admitted would allow abortion-on-demand up until the moment of birth. Denise Cappuccio, CWA’s Director of Finance and a constituent of Delegate Tran, spoke at a recent rally in support of the unborn and against this atrocious form of extremism on the issue of abortion.

Fifth Circuit: Planned Parenthood Undercover Videos Authentic and Not Deceptively Edited

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

CWA President & CEO Penny Nance talks with CMP Founder David Daleiden at the 2019 March for Life

After being exposed for their unscrupulous attempts to sell baby body parts for profit, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation, tried to discredit the evidence in a massive PR campaign. They claim the videos which clearly showed they sought to benefit from the sale of aborted baby hearts, brains, lungs, etc. were “deceptively edited.”

This blatant lie was so flagrantly promoted by the liberal mainstream media that many Americans, including some judges, took it as fact.

Thankfully, we still have independent-minded judges who refuse to adjudicate based on popular beliefs, choosing instead to follow the law as written, even in difficult cases. Such was the case with a panel from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals who took a look at the evidence in Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas v. Smith.

The panel found a district court who had fully sided with Planned Parenthood’s characterization of the video evidence based on their word alone had abused its discretion. The Fifth Circuit panel composed of Judges Edith Jones, E. Grady Jolly, and Catharina Haynes, said, “The district court stated, inaccurately, that the CMP video had not been authenticated and suggested that it may have been edited” (Emphasis mine). The appellate panel was not just acting on emotion or personal preference by writing this, there was no evidence, aside from Planned Parenthood’s word, to sustain the district court’s characterization of the videos. The court notes:

In fact, the record reflects that [the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Office of Inspector General (OIG)] had submitted a report from a forensic firm concluding that the video was authentic and not deceptively edited. And the plaintiffs did not identify any particular omission or addition in the video footage. (Emphasis mine)

This simple statement of truth has sent shockwaves around the country. And we shouldn’t be surprised. Just as darkness cannot withstand the light, lies crumble at the sight of truth. The court’s acknowledgment is also great vindication for David Daleiden, the founder of The Center for Medical Progress (CMP), who produced the groundbreaking undercover videos exposing the dubious, unethical, immoral, and potentially criminal enterprise.

Daleiden said in a statement: “CMP’s undercover video series caught Planned Parenthood’s top leaders openly admitting to selling baby body parts for profit in violation of federal law. Tonight, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vindicated our citizen journalism work by debunking Planned Parenthood’s smear that the videos were ‘heavily edited’ or ‘doctored.’”

The Texas case dealt with the state’s efforts to terminate its Medicaid provider agreement with Planned Parenthood after their unethical behavior was revealed by the CMP videos. Federal law allows states to terminate a Medical provider agreement when, as in this case, there is evidence of a program violation. The Court explained that, “A ‘program violation’ includes any violation of federal law, state law, or the Texas Medicaid program policies.”

Federal law makes it a crime “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce” (42 U.S.C. 289g-2). Not only that, it also requires “no alteration of the timing, method, or procedures used to terminate the pregnancy [be] made solely for the purposes of obtaining the tissue” (42 U.S.C. 289g-1(b)(2)). This is exactly what we see in the forensically-authenticated CMP videos.

The court noted several statements where the videos clearly show Planned Parenthood was willing and able to change the abortion procedure to obtain “intact specimens.” Quoting their representative:

Yeah. So she knows what’s involved in modifying what we need to do to get you the specimens that are intact because she’s done it. … And she was doing those here.

Note Planned Parenthood not only admits it is willing to alter its abortion procedures for this purpose in the future, but it alleges they have done it in the past, also. There are numerous statements of this nature. The lower court dismissed all those statements because it wholeheartedly took Planned Parenthood’s word that they didn’t mean any of it. The appellate panel said, “The district court credited [Planned Parenthood’s] self-justifying explanations.”

It would be like a court believing an abuser because he shows up in court and says he didn’t do anything, while dismissing outright all the bruises and testimony from the victim. The district court’s decision was not based on facts but preference. One can see that when the appellate court notes the lower court actually concluded there was no “evidence, or even a scintilla of evidence,” for Texas’ conclusions about Planned Parenthood. Whatever you think of their decision, any reasonable observer can see that the videos are something – gosh, are the millions of people troubled by them just uneducated troglodytes?

It is that type of extreme, unmeasured action by a judge which shows they are not approaching a case and the evidence in good faith. The appellate court, on the other hand, approached the case with the evenhandedness that is at the heart of ensuring a just outcome. It identifies the case as a case of “judicial review of an agency action.” And accordingly, it gives proper deference to the state agency on its determinations. It noted, “despite being litigated with the trappings of the abortion debate, this is fundamentally a statutory construction case, not an abortion case.”

This is the model of judicial restraint that should be paramount in our judicial system. The court gives deference to the state agency in making its determination based on legitimate evidence of misconduct.

Planned Parenthood argued that Texas could not even make a determination on them because “OIG has insufficient expertise to determine the qualifications of abortion providers.” Unbelievably, the lower court had gone along with Planned Parenthood in that argument too.

Fortunately, the appellate panel gave a proper smackdown to that inane notion:

We reject this argument. OIG is the agency that the state of Texas has empowered to investigate and penalize Medicaid program violations. The agency is in the business of saying when providers are qualified and when they are not. That the Chief Medical Officer is a surgeon—and not himself an abortion provider— does not mean that he deserves no deference when deciding whether a provider has failed to meet the medical and ethical standards the state requires. It is even odder to claim that federal judges, who have no experience in the regulations and ethics applicable to Medicaid or medical practice, much less in regard to harvesting fetal organs for research, should claim superior expertise. (Emphasis mine)

The appellate court ultimately vacated the preliminary injunction imposed by the district court. It remanded the case back to limit the review to the agency record, taking a serious look at the evidence in the videos and not merely at Planned Parenthood’s self-serving explanations after the fact. It also asked the lower court to review the case under the proper arbitrary-and-capricious standard. Here’s hoping they follow through on their application of the law this time, regardless of the political pressures that come with any case even remotely associated with Planned Parenthood.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

An Open Letter to Governor Cuomo

By | Blog, New York, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, YWA | No Comments

Dear Mr. Cuomo,

Do you remember the day in the hospital room when you held your daughters, Cara and Mariah, for the first time?  And then the day you held Michaela? Those are the babies you are allowing to be killed. Fully developed, feeling, dreaming, cognitive, valuable, unique, and American. Right before they are to make their appearance, you are celebrating that they can be killed.

I am a woman, a New Yorker, and a millennial. Every single fiber of my being disapproves of what you signed on Tuesday.

I and thousands of other New Yorkers are absolutely horrified and disgusted by your blatant disregard for the value of life.

You are hurting women in the name of “reproductive health.”

You just made it legal to kill fully developed 7-, 8-, 9-, 10-pound babies.

You just made it more dangerous for the women that do end the life of their child by allowing non-doctors to perform abortions. This is a Kermit Gosnell-type of disregard for women.

You also just made it more unsafe, painful, and deadly for the babies who survive abortions.

This is most definitely NOT a victory for all New Yorkers.  It is a grave loss. A dark, discouraging, and horrifying time for New Yorkers and all Americans.

You say that you want “to ensure a woman’s right to make her own decisions.” Under your new law, more New York women will never be able to make a single decision. You have denied her the most fundamental right. Her right to life.

We will continue to fight for vulnerable babies in the womb, sir. I will continue to stand up and be a voice for the voiceless. We are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and it is an unthinkable evil that we do not protect the fundamental right to life in America.

This was not a win for women. It was the worst of losses.

-Kelsey Good


Note to readers:

New Yorkers, get involved.  Christians, rise up.  Churches, speak out.

Join an organization. Get news alerts from different news stations. Pick up a book.

Get off your couches and go to the state capitol. Stop scrolling on Instagram, and keep up with the legislation in your capitol and in D.C.

You have a choice to make a difference. Stand up for truth. Be part of the solution.

 

There is a Darkness Growing in New York

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

By now you have probably seen the video (below) of the New York State Senate cheering the “Reproductive Health Act” which would effectively allow abortions up to just before birth. It is heartbreaking. This is not just the sentiment of a few legislators either. It is a direct reflection of the majority of the people of New York. Their elected officials consistently reflect the condition of their hearts. Recall that New York City discovered in 2012 that more African American babies were killed by abortion (31,328) than born (24,758). From that experience, they’ve emerged with a desire to expand abortions.

I first came across the video with a comment from Benjamin Watson, the NFL player who is a courageous voice for life in our day. He commented, “It is a sad and evil day when the murder of our most innocent and vulnerable is celebrated with such overwhelming exuberance. We SHOULD be supporting and encouraging the building of families which are fundamental to any society. By not doing so, we invite consequences untold.”

 

He captured well in just a tweet what I felt as my heart broke for the people of New York. I pray that God may have mercy on them, that they may feel the evil that has taken hold of their hearts and minds, so they might turn and repent from their ways.

The worst of consequences for New York would be to be left to their own devices and continue to think of themselves as the best of the best. To continue to be blinded by the big billboards and the lights, its celebrities, and big sporting events. Underneath the glamour, there is a deep sadness to this city. A spiritual sadness. People who can barely make it each day. They are crying out for help only to hear the reflection of their own voices on the busy bodies walking pass them.

I pray for the New York Church. I pray that they might shine brightly in the middle of increasing darkness. I pray this news presents a moment of self-reflection. I pray they cry out in unison for God’s discipline, for that would be a great mercy. Like a loving father, the Lord disciplines those whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6). There are those whom God gives up to follow their own appetites, “to do what ought not to be done,” says the Apostle Paul (Romans 1:28). This is the worst of scenarios.

Those of us outside the state must also be diligent to stand up and raise our voices for these children who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8). To speak of the people of New York is in many ways to speak of us, wherever we are in America. Paul warned not only those who practice these evil deeds but of those who “give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). Let us never be accused of approval because of our silence. May we never be seen as those who would sacrifice justice and mercy for the unborn on the altar of personal comfort.

Let us resolve to speak ever more boldly for the unborn in New York and wherever we are. Let us recommit our efforts to support women in crisis pregnancy and to love each person at every stage of life for their intrinsic value, as created in the image of God.

Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Pro-Life is Pro-Science

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

Today is the March for Life! As I sit across from my eldest daughter (11) on our way to the march in downtown Washington, D.C., I can’t help but think about this year’s theme: “Unique from Day One.” I see this in Mia.

I have four kids. They’re all incredible. But Mia is unique. She’s kind and good-hearted. She is loud and yet shy. In many ways, she is like her mother. In other ways like me. She is her. Each of my children is unique. This is an inescapable reality.

The connection between us is also unique. As every parent out there knows, our children’s connection with mother and father is very different. Each beautiful in its own right. This, too, is a reality.

That connection starts from day one, at conception. As most woman who have been pregnant would testify, there is a connection (a deep relationship) that starts while the baby is inside the womb. It is a majestic mystery that is undeniable, whatever the pro-choice propaganda tells us.

Exploiters know the power of this connection between mother and child is so explosive, it is dangerous. I always remember the words of Frederick Douglass in his autobiography, “An American Slave.” He wrote:

My mother and I were separated when I was but an infant — before I knew her as my mother. It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age. Frequently, before the child has reached its twelfth month, its mother is taken from it, and hired out on some farm a considerable distance off, and the child is placed under the care of an old woman, too old for field labor. For what this separation is done, I do not know, unless it be to hinder the development of the child’s affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child. This is the inevitable result.

As Frederick Douglass notes, slaveholders knew this “natural affection” between mother and child was more powerful than slavery. They were right to fear it.

It is why pro-abortion advocates today hate laws requiring that they offer women a sonogram of the baby in the womb before having an abortion. This is dangerous to their business. Better to “part children from their mothers” before she can lay eyes on the baby. But they cannot deny reality. Being pro-life is being pro-science. Only mothers have abortions. That mother/unborn-child relationship, though in its infancy, has already commenced, and the separation will have inevitable consequences.

It is no wonder many women suffer greatly after an abortion, even when they cannot make the connection to the traumatic event. Consider that:

  • Women who have an abortion are three times more likely than women of child-bearing age in the general population to commit suicide.
  • The increased risk percentage of women who have an abortion compared to women in the general population of having at least one mental health issue: 81 percent.
  • Teen girls are up to 10x more likely to attempt suicide than their counterparts who have not had an abortion.
  • Teen girls who have had an abortion are up to 4x more likely to successfully commit suicide when compared to older women who have had an abortion.
  • About 45 percent of women who have had an abortion report having suicidal feelings immediately following their procedure.
  • 1995 data suggests that the rate of deliberate self-harm is 70% higher after abortion than after childbirth.
  • The British Journal of Psychiatry found an 81% increased risk of mental trauma after abortion.
  • Two out of three women who have a late abortion (after 12 weeks) suffer from the clinical definition of PTSD.
  • Women who have had an abortion are 34 percent more likely to develop an anxiety disorder.
  • The increased risk of alcohol abuse in women who have had an abortion is 110 percent.

These and many other scientific facts led the U.S. Supreme Court to finally admit in the Gonzalez v. Carhart partial-birth abortion decision that:

“It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing brain of her unborn child. …”

Indeed, it is self-evident. Just like we knew slavery was an unspeakable evil, even after Dred Scott said it was “legal,” so we know today that abortion is a similar evil that must end, even 46 years after Roe.

 


Mario Diaz, Esq. is CWA’s general counsel. Follow him on Twitter @mariodiazesq.

Black Women Are Betraying Their Sisters on Abortion

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

One group of black women are peddling the belief that abortion is “self-care,” that it benefits women and their families. This snake oil is being sold by The Afiya Center (TAC), which put these slogans on a giant billboard in Texas.

As a free-thinking, informed and intuitive black woman, I don’t buy it. My child did not survive my abortion over 30 years ago, but I did. Since 1973, abortion has reduced the black population by over 25 percent, terminating 19 million black lives.  [Read More …]

Planned Parenthood Announces New President, Dr. Leana Wen

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

Washington, D.C. — Today, Planned Parenthood announced their new president, Dr. Leana Wen. Dr. Wen has a medical background having been an emergency room doctor and Baltimore’s health commissioner. Her background as a political activist leaves little hope that Planned Parenthood will leave the abortion industry behind.

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

“If Planned Parenthood was truly serious about advocating for women, they would hire someone as their president who understands medicine and, because of that knowledge, accepts that abortion does not help women but only inflicts harm and destruction. Instead, they have hired a medical professional who does not understand the true nature of abortion and is more a political activist than women’s health advocate.

Dr. Wen’s background as an emergency room doctor and her time as Baltimore’s health commissioner should give her perspective on the real healthcare needs of women. Dr. Wen has the opportunity to change the trajectory of Planned Parenthood and address the full range of services needed by poor women. It’s time for Planned Parenthood to change their business model instead of pushing their abortion agenda.

Dr. Wen was just a child when she left China, but she was born in a nation with an authoritarian government that forced abortions under their One Child Policy for more than three decades. We know the devastating impact of that policy. If Dr. Wen cares for women, we ask that she rely on her expertise as a doctor instead of her political activism.

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

Senators Fail to Defund Planned Parenthood

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

In a rare up-or-down pro-life vote on Capitol Hill, the Senate voted last week on an amendment to the Labor HHS/Department of Defense “minibus” Appropriations bill.  The amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) would prohibit federal funds from going to any provider of family planning or reproductive health services that performs abortions or affiliates with an entity that does.  The amendment failed 45-48 with seven senators absent – half of whom would have voted for and the other half against.  The strategy behind this vote was complicated by anticipated hostile amendments from abortion supporters and was set at a 60-vote threshold to pass, which essentially set it up to fail.  Nevertheless, it was a clean vote on a pro-life measure that put senators clearly on record as to whether they support or oppose the abortion industry.  Predictably, Planned Parenthood was on the front lines in opposition to the amendment, since it would cut deeply into their bottom line.

The House has a similar provision in its Labor-HHS Appropriations bill to defund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.  CWA will be working to get this measure, and other strong, pro-life legislation, in the final FY 2019 Labor- HHS Appropriations bill, whatever form it takes.  As always, this will be a heavy lift requiring the leadership of pro-life members and the Administration.  The House and Senate should be appointing a conference committee to work out a final bill in the coming weeks.  Find out how your senators voted on the Paul Amendment, No. 3967, and let them know how you feel!

States Seeking New Avenues to Defund Planned Parenthood

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

In April 2018, Tennessee passed a law, Amendment 36, declaring the state’s belief that childbirth and family planning services should not include elective abortions. Additionally, this law aims to eliminate “direct or indirect use of state funds to promote or support elective abortions,” meaning agencies providing elective abortions should not be eligible for any government money and should not be Medicaid providers. Medicaid-provider eligibility is determined by the federal Center for Medicaid Services (CMS). If a state wants to eliminate a Medicaid provider, it must get a waiver from CMS. This month, TennCare (the Medicaid program in Tennessee) submitted a waiver request to CMS to prohibit abortion providers from participating in TennCare.

In accordance with Amendment 36, Tennessee petitioned CMS for permission to exclude “any entity that performed, or operated or maintained a facility that performed, more than 50 abortions in the previous year, including any affiliate of such an entity.”  It’s clear that Tennessee is operating within its authority to set reasonable standards for what kind of providers are eligible for Medicaid funds. The waiver request is currently undergoing a public comment period that will close on September 23.

Planned Parenthood receives several forms of government money; their second largest source is Title X grants, and their biggest source is Medicaid reimbursement. Naturally, they are protesting this law, because not only will this likely cut off Planned Parenthood’s funding in Tennessee, but it will set a crucial precedent for other states who are trying to cut off Medicaid funding from abortion providers. Texas currently has a similar waiver pending before the Trump Administration, and if this waiver is enacted, it is likely other states will follow. This is also why we need your help to submit a public comment supporting this policy.

Planned Parenthood claims that without this money, their services will decline, and they will be forced to cease operations, a move that will cause rural women to suffer. However, there are only three Planned Parenthood clinics in Tennessee: one in Knoxville, one in Nashville, and one in Memphis — the three most populated cities in the entire state; their assistance to rural women is not apparent. In the state’s waiver request to CMS, the TennCare Director, Wendy Long, explains that should this policy go into effect, rural healthcare will not be impacted, because the providers that do serve rural women are unaffected by this policy.

Women deserve better than the care they receive at abortion mills, and states should be able to determine who best serves their citizens. This waiver is important for Tennessee but will have a nationwide impact to pave the way for frustrated states to try for similar waivers, so they, too, can cut off government funding from Planned Parenthood. Please submit a comment today and tell CMS that you support states’ ability to determine who provides care for their citizens.

Let’s unite to support justice for the millions of brave women who’ve survived sexual assault

By | Blog, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Exploitation | No Comments

This week I am scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine federal funding of DNA analysis — with the goal of promoting justice for victims of crime.  As a survivor of assault and attempted rape on a Virginia running path, I am honored to testify in regard to the reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act, a program within the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that funds the processing of DNA rape kits.

First enacted in 1994 by President Clinton, VAWA has been a hotbed of conflict, deeply dividing party lines — with both sides taking part in public mud-slinging and scare tactics. But, now more than ever, it is time to try to find common ground, and focus on bringing justice and relief to the millions of brave American women who have survived violence and sexual assault.

Over the twenty-four years of VAWA’s existence, the Office of Violence Against Women has distributed over 7.6 billion dollars to VAWA grant recipients.  During this time, Concerned Women for America has had a love-hate relationship with VAWA.  The fight against sexual exploitation is one of CWA’s seven core issues, and as the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, we applaud any efforts to reduce violence or bring support to victims.

However, we believed combating violence against women was (in most cases) most effectively organized at the state level.  In addition, we have been concerned over the lack of conscience provisions for faith-based service providers.  For example, in 2011 after five years of providing services to sex trafficking victims in 44 states, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was denied participation in the program which many believed was due to their position on abortion and HHS preference for “full-range” of family planning services.

Equally frustrating is the lack of oversight and accountability, fraud, and abuse of VAWA funds. We know that between 1993 and 2010, the Inspector General reviewed twenty-two individual grantees that received VAWA funding.  Of those twenty-two, twenty-one grantees were found to have some form of “violation of grant requirements” which included unauthorized or unallowable expenditures, slipshod record keeping, and failure to report in a timely manner. And these are just a few examples.

The Debbie Smith Act is one small program within VAWA.  This program is an abundantly worthy effort and an example of the kind of work that can be achieved when we work together on a bipartisan basis.  The program has made great strides in helping states begin the hard work to clean up the backlog of unprocessed DNA but we can do better.  Through the Debbie Smith Act, we have spent over $1.2 billion to clean up state rape kit backlogs since 2004. However, due to a lack of accountability and prioritization in this program, we still have little to no idea of whether or not these funds have reached this objective.

What we do know is that in many states the rape kit backlog is still unaccounted for, and in some cases forgotten, such as in the instance of the eleven thousand kits found in an abandoned Detroit warehouse; some of these kits lay unopened and wasting for twenty five years while rape victims waited for justice.

In recent years, CWA has realized we would rather work to improve the Act and focus real and effective help to women.  Instead of raging at the darkness, we are ready to light a candle.  It is for this reason I will testify for the Debbie Smith Act, in a spirit of bi-partisan cooperation and to be sure that the next reauthorization of Debbie Smith will promote justice for victims of sexual assault. That I am sure, is something on which we can all agree.

To that goal, when I testify, I will ask the Senate Judiciary Committee for greater accountability in the Debbie Smith Act — specifically to account for the rape kit backlog — and for prioritizing the processing of rape kits over other crimes. As a condition of receipt of funds, states must be willing to come clean about the number of rape kits awaiting processing.  

Secondly, we must prioritize the DNA processing of the sexual assault kits of rape victims. We understand that processing other types of crimes can increase the chance of getting DNA hits for perpetrators of sexual assault through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and we fully support those efforts. But let’s not forget that the first priority should be for the victims who have been waiting for justice for many years, often while enduring significant physical and psychological trauma. Justice demands that every woman represented in each of those forgotten rape kits be accounted for and their evidence processed.

Rarely can I remember a time when our nation was so deeply divided on current issues.  In an era of bi-partisan name-calling, dirt-throwing, and rampant distrust, now more than ever we must unite on an issue on which we can agree: justice and relief for the millions of brave women who have survived violence and sexual assault.

Now is the time for us to demand justice and accountability from both state and federal governments.  Each of the rape kits waiting represents a woman praying that the monster who violated her will be prosecuted before the statute of limitations’ clock runs out.  Let’s make that happen.


Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published by Fox News. Click here to see it there.

Supreme Court Protects Pro-Life Clinics from Government Targeting; Millions of Women Celebrate

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

Washington, D.C. — Moments ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a great victory (5-4) to pro-life clinics in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra.

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

“We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for sending a clear statement today that pro-life Americans cannot be discriminated against and targeted by government. The State of California’s insidious effort to prevent pregnancy care centers from helping suffering women is appalling.

“To be clear, this case was not about abortion. Malicious abortion politics definitely were the motivation behind it, but the case centered on the inappropriate mandate of the state compelling pro-life clinics to promote abortion in violation of their consciences.  The case was about forced speech.

“Supporters of the First Amendment, including many pro-abortion women, were appalled to see the way the state tried to punish pro-life clinics where hundreds, if not thousands, of women dedicate their lives to help other women in need.  Millions of women around the country, both pro-life and pro-abortion, reject this form of government tyranny.

“Freedom-loving women should celebrate the Court’s wisdom here in allowing all women to serve their fellow neighbor as their conscience dictates, free from government interference.”


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

Weekly Update for June 9, 2018 from CWA’s Legislative Department

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

Washington, D.C. – This week amplified the call to defund Planned Parenthood with shocking new evidence of how abortion clinics have engaged in aiding abusers and intimidating employees from not reporting client sexual abuse. Live Action’s report, Aiding Abusers:  Planned Parenthood’s Cover-up of Child Sexual Abuse, compiles court cases, reports from state health departments, testimonies from former employees, and interviews with survivors to uncover Planned Parenthood’s culture of complicity and unwritten “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.   For example, documented cases have involved girls as young as 12 and 13 years old whose perpetrators, including their own fathers, forced them to abort their pregnancies.  Planned Parenthood did not report the abuse to authorities as required by law and then sent these wounded girls out the door with their abusers.

This unconscionable track record is why the Trump Administration’s proposed Protect Life Rule includes a provision requiring any recipient of Title X family planning funds to comply with all state and local laws on reporting child sexual abuse, molestation, incest, rape, intimate partner violence and human trafficking.

On Thursday, 56 pro-life Senators called on the Trump Administration to investigate Planned Parenthood’s failure to report suspected sexual abuse of minors in their care through the Title X program.  In a letter to HHS Secretary Azar, Senators request all records of incidents of failure to report abuse, documentation of consequences, and data from the past decade of how many children below the age of consent were served and how many reports of abuse were made.

These developments further the importance for every member of CWA to go to our website’s special page, ConcernedWomen.org/ProtectLifeRule, and submit a comment supporting all provisions of the Administration’s proposed Protect Life Rule.  We have a unique opportunity to speak loudly for those who cannot speak for themselves, to protect life and those who give life, to thank this Administration for standing on the side of life and against abortion and abuse.   Please comment today!

Act Now! Title X Comment Period Now Open!

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Just last week the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new proposed rule governing the Title X program that has the potential to make an impact on the fight against Planned Parenthood’s government funding. The Title X program is a voluntary grant program that was created to educate and provide family planning services. Even though the law says that abortion is not family planning, abortion giants like Planned Parenthood have used this grant program as their own personal slush fund.

But not under the Trump Administration. HHS proposed a new rule governing Title X funds. This rule, also referred to as the “Protect Life Rule,” proposes regulations similar to the “Reagan rules” that were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan. These new regulations require physical and financial separation between Title X recipients and abortion providers. Under these new regulations, abortion centers cannot serve as Title X family planning centers, and recipients cannot refer for abortion. Additionally, grantees must comply with state/local abuse reporting requirements. This rule also repeals the Clinton-era regulations that require abortion counseling and instead makes this optional.

This new proposed rule draws a bright line between abortion clinics and Title X dollars. By requiring physical and financial separation of Title X dollars, we can be sure that this taxpayer money is being used to help low-income women and not prop up abortion clinics. This new regulation does not cut Title X dollars by a single cent.

Of course, Planned Parenthood is hysterical because they don’t want accountability for the government money they receive, and they don’t want to separate their abortion clinics from their Title X programs. They could choose to comply, but they won’t because abortion is their bread and butter.

Planned Parenthood wants you to think abortion is just a small part of what they do. The reality is that over 90% of pregnant women who enter a Planned Parenthood clinic will receive an abortion. It’s not a “small part” of what they do, because if it were, they would choose to comply with the law and disentangle their abortion business from family planning services.

However, this rule is not a done deal. As with any federal regulation, there is an open comment period where the public has the opportunity to express their views. After the 60-day comment period is up, HHS will review the comments and issue a final rule based on the public’s feedback.

This is where we need your help. The comment period opens TODAY, and we want to express our appreciation for this important rule. If you’ve never posted a public comment before and don’t know where to start, don’t worry. On our website, we have instructions on how and where to submit a comment and a sample comment you can copy, paste, and submit exactly as is! It is so important that we express our strong support for this rule. Please visit ConcernedWomen.org/ProtectLifeRule for more information.

CWA’s Senior Director of Government Relations Talks Title X

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Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) filed a proposal to update Title X grant requirements. These regulations would reinstate regulations similar to the “Reagan rules” which were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan. These new regulations require physical and financial separation between Title X recipients and abortion providers. Under these new regulations, abortion centers cannot serve as Title X family planning centers, and recipients cannot refer for abortion. This rule repeals the Clinton-era regulations that require abortion counseling, and instead makes this optional.

Doreen Denny, CWA’s new Senior Director of Government Relations did a 10-minute radio segment on Life!Line with Craig Roberts, a talk radio show based in the Bay Area.

Click here to listen:

Concerned Women for America LAC Applauds New HHS Title X Rule

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

Washington, D.C. —  Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will file a proposal to update Title X grant requirements. These regulations would reinstate regulations similar to the “Reagan rules” which were upheld by the Supreme Court in 1991 in Rust v. Sullivan. These new regulations require physical and financial separation between Title X recipients and abortion providers.Under these new regulations, abortion centers cannot serve as Title X family planning centers, and recipients cannot refer for abortion. This rule repeals the Clinton-era regulations that require abortion counseling, and instead makes this optional.

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

“This new rule is the Trump Administration’s response to the requests of 194 Members of Congress and 85 pro-life advocacy groups to update Title X regulations in light of the fungibility of these funds. Americans want out of the abortion business; six-in-ten Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion.

“Today, HHS acted on their statutory ability to decide who is eligible for Title X funding. Abortion is not health care, nor is it family planning. Although the Title X statute and legal precedent make this clear, previous administrations have failed to draw this line. This new rule doesn’t reduce Title X dollars, but it does direct funding to service sites like Federally Qualified Health Centers, rural health centers, and nonprofits that are willing to comply with the law. This provides necessary transparency and ensures that Title X dollars are spent on family planning, not abortion.

“Obviously the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, is apoplectic because they view Title X funds as their personal entitlement. But it is disingenuous to characterize a mere 4% loss of income as a ‘devastating blow.’ As with all grantees, Planned Parenthood and affiliates can choose to comply with the statute or forgo taxpayer support and continue offering these services in whatever fashion they please as a private entity.

“This is yet another promise fulfilled by President Trump and his administration. It is also a necessary response to the frustration felt by our grassroots over funding for abortion providers in the omnibus and the Senate’s failure to pass a law to redirect Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid dollars to Federally Qualified Health Centers. I applaud the House members and senators who pushed for this, Secretary Azar’s response, and President Trump’s leadership.”

 


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