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Planned Parenthood

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 arutledge@cwfa.org 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 arutledge@cwfa.org 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!

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

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

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

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 arutledge@cwfa.org or 916-792-3973.

True Feminism: The Third Choice

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

Reading articles or listening to debates about abortion, I’m always left wondering, “Why isn’t adoption front and center in the national conversation?” Adding adoption as The Third Choice to the stunted “two-choice solution” — abortion or “keeping my baby” — holds promise for many thousands of women and couples. Together, unexpectedly pregnant and childless women can forge a new outlook on adoption.

Can cultural prevailing winds lift up adoption, The Third Choice? In the past few decades, our culture has shifted regarding unmarried pregnant women. In my generation as a Baby Boomer in the south, young women left town under some pretense and returned some months later “having lived with an Aunt” or they “ran off and got married” at the first inkling of a pregnancy, hoping no one was counting the months. For this discussion, I simply want to address our current cultural realities and offer The Third Choice to save the lives of the pre-born baby.

The loosening of shame in our culture has created a new environment where single pregnancy is most often acceptable. What is unacceptable is overlooking and under-emphasizing the adoption option for unwanted pregnancies. It is tragic that too many birth mothers have been propagandized into thinking that the baby in their womb is not a baby but only a conglomeration of irrelevant tissue. The emergence of ultrasound science is proving that a pre-born human is indeed beginning life in the womb. While science is serving women with a needed reality check to pierce the propaganda, many women who chose abortion pre-ultrasound technology face painful regrets that haunt them for a lifetime.

The pro-abortion propaganda which has seeped into our culture has also robbed infertile couples of the joy of parenting. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 7.4 million women have difficulty getting and staying pregnant. And a 2008 American Community Survey estimated that 1.6 million children are adopted. Statistics indicate that childlessness is increasing. While abortion rates are decreasing and pro-life legislation and tax breaks are increasing, “unwanted” babies are still erased from the population rolls, leaving too many couples with empty arms and less possibilities to parent.

Here are two suggestions in simple terms. Adoption is an option that must be rehabilitated. The adoption process is impaired by a bureaucracy that is not only complicated, it is incredibly expensive. Adoption must be elevated in our culture. Part of that process includes changing the national conversation to lift up birth mothers as heroes who, instead of sacrificing the child in their womb, choose to sacrifice nine months of their lives to fill the arms of childless couples. This is the essence of TRUE FEMINISM; a birth mother making The Third Choice to fill the empty arms of an infertile woman.

I am one of the childless women blessed by two brave heroes. They are called “birth mothers.”


Editor’s Note: Today’s post was written by CWA’s friend, Arlene Bridges Samuels. 

I Met With Ivanka, Too, and Cecile Richards is Being a Drama Queen

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

In a breathless passage, or as People Magazine prefers to call it, a “riveting passage,” from Cecile Richards’ new book about her life as Planned Parenthood’s president for the past 12 years, she describes meeting with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in January 2017 to discuss taxpayer funding of her organization, the nation’s largest abortion provider. It is so hyped up and drawn out that I have to wonder about it. Read More

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

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


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.

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.

 

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.”