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Texas

CWA Representing You in the Senate

By | Dobbs, Louisiana, Missouri, News and Events, Sanctity of Life, Texas | No Comments

By Susanna Edgecomb, CWA’s Government Relations Summer Intern

 

Congress has returned from recess after the recent Supreme Court decision, Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization, which released us from the death grip of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey and leaves the question of abortion policy to the people and their elected representatives. The U.S. Senate and House scheduled multiple hearings on Dobbs. Concerned Women for America (CWA) had front row seats to the hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the first of five congressional hearings in the first work week following Dobbs. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, House Oversight and Reform, House Judiciary and House Energy and Commerce committees also had hearings.

 

Concerned Women for America and Young Women for America (YWA) leaders from Iowa, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas were there to represent the women back home who have prayed for years for a decision like Dobbs. The leaders had the opportunity to meet with Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to share their thanks for standing for the sanctity of life. This is only the tip of the iceberg of ways that CWA and YWA are championing the cause for life in their respective states.

 

Every CWA chapter has been engaged on the issue of life for decades. We recall some of their efforts with thanksgiving to Almighty God: CWA of Iowa lobbied for pro-life legislation on the state level. They also prayed outside abortion clinics. CWA of Louisiana prayed outside abortion clinics, lobbied on the state level for pro-life legislation, and participated in the Louisiana March for Life. CWA representatives in Texas prayed outside abortion clinics and lobbied on the state level for pro-life legislation. CWA of Missouri participated in the Missouri March for Life and 40 Days for Life. The Missouri Team also lobbied on the state level and prayed outside abortion clinics. A YWA chapter in Arkansas participated in the state March for Life and volunteered at a local pregnancy resource center. YWA in Arkansas hosted a pro-life conference and prayed outside abortion clinics as well.

 

There is so much work that goes unnoticed, and this is only a small sample of some of the work our leaders have done in select states across the country. We thank each of you for being part of the movement that brought about this great post-Roe era. You oversee the most important work for life—the work that happens at home. But there is much work to be done, and we will continue to equip you to fight for a day when abortion is not only illegal but unthinkable.

 

If you would like to join these efforts in your state, click here.

Roe vs. Wade is Overturned! CWA of Texas Responds

By | Texas | No Comments

IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2022  

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Ann Hettinger (972) 658-4204

 

Concerned Women for America of Texas

Applauds the SCOTUS Decision to Overturn Roe v. Wade

 

Rockwall, Texas – In America, after forty-nine years of living with the unjust United States Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, today it has been rightfully overturned. This decision by the Court reveals the incorruptibility of these Justices. They were unjustly targeted by the left, and they stood strong. We are thankful for them.

 

Texas has determined that children, still in the protection of their mother’s womb, will be safe from destruction. The 87th Legislature in 2021 passed HB 1280, authored by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-District 98), sponsored by Sen. Angela Paxton (R-District 8), and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott. This statute bans abortion in Texas, except if the continuation of the pregnancy would endanger the life of the mother. The act takes effect in 30 days, now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Also, because there was a ban in Texas statutes in 1973 when this decision was handed down, some believe the original ban can be immediately enforced.

 

Ann Hettinger, State Director of Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Texas, has this to say concerning the Supreme Court decision:  

 

“CWA of Texas has worked diligently for years to do two things: First, support, with life-affirming services, women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies. Second, we have worked to educate citizens on the value of every human life and the promise it brings to the future of Texas and our nation. 

 

“We have worked to elect officials who have stood fearlessly for these precepts and have undergirded women with functional governmental help. We are sincerely grateful to all the leaders who have served our State through the years, our Governors, our Lt. Governors, our State Senators and Representatives. They have faced hostility, ridicule, and opposition in every vote, and yet they have remained faithful to their commitment to life.

 

“We will continue to support all families when they are challenged with unplanned pregnancies. We believe every child deserves protection, provisions, and most of all, love. When public policy issues arise, we will stand for life!”

 

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America, the Nation’s largest public policy organization for women; we are dedicated to promoting Biblical values and Constitutional principles. More information is available at ConcernedWomen.org.

Texas: Help Us Ensure Election Integrity in 2022

By | Texas | No Comments

The 2022 elections are upon us, and we need your help to ensure that every eligible vote counts in Texas! Here are ways to engage:

  1. Serve as challengers and watchers during early voting and on Election Day. Download the Poll Watcher’s Guide to read about the basic rights and responsibilities of poll watchers.  (Poll watchers can be acting on behalf of a candidate, political party, or opponent or proponent of a ballot measure; must be a qualified elector from the jurisdiction; can’t be a felon, candidate, public official or related within the second degree of consanguinity to an election judge/clerk at the site; maximum of seven per early voting site and two per Election Day voting site. (V.T.C.A., Election Code §33.031))
  1. Serve as poll workers. Learn how to become a poll worker here. Register for the online poll worker training here. Use can also use the poll worker lookup tool to find information on being a poll worker in your community, including requirements, hours, pay, training, and more.
  1. Ensure Texans are registered to vote. We have made it easy for you. Download our Conducting a Voter Registration Drive: Instructions and helpful tips.
  1. Be an informed voter by checking out CWALAC Congressional Scorecard for the 114th Congress – First Session and iVoterGuide. 

Other helpful links:

Election Dates
Primary Election
March 1, 2022 – Election date

Primary Runoff Election
April 25, 2022 – Last Day to Register to Vote
May 13, 2022 – Last Day to Apply by Mail (Received, not Postmarked)
May 16, 2022 – First Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance  
May 20, 2022 – Last Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance   
May 24, 2022 – Primary Runoff Election

General Election
October 11, 2022 – Last Day to Register to Vote
October 24, 2022 – First Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance
October 28, 2022 – Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail (Received, not Postmarked)
November 4, 2022 – Last Day of Early Voting by Personal Appearance
November 8, 2022 – Election Date

Additional information on election dates.

Thank you for making a difference in Texas!

Ann Hettinger
State Director

Dallas Prayer/Action Chapter to Launch!

By | Texas | No Comments

(Do you, or someone you know, live in Dallas? Either way, please read on.)

No doubt you are as concerned as I am about what is going on in our cities, in our state, and our nation these days. That is why I am excited to announce the launch of Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Texas’ newest Prayer/Action Chapter in Dallas, Texas. To give people a voice in their communities, CWA’s chapters meet regularly to encourage informed prayer and action for our nation and its leaders. Our mission is to protect and promote Biblical values and Constitutional principles within all levels of government and within the culture around us.

Here are the details of the chapter meeting:

Date: Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Farmers Branch (Meeting location information will be given after you RSVP.)
RSVP: Please RSVP by Friday, February 25
Contact Jody Fulton at [email protected] for more information. 

Make plans now to attend and be sure to invite a friend!

If you do not live in the Dallas area but would like information on how to start a chapter in your area, please contact me. I will be happy to talk with you about starting a chapter in your community.
  
Sincerely,

Ann Hettinger
State Director

Drama at Supreme Court on Texas Abortion Law Case

By | LBB, Legal, News and Events, Texas | No Comments

If there is drama at the U.S. Supreme Court these days, you can rest assured that Justice Sonia Sotomayor is at the center of it. And when the issue in the case is protecting unborn babies, you already know the side for which she fights. So here is why you are hearing so much about her and what the U.S. Supreme Court did in the Texas abortion law case.

If you remember, last time, the Supreme Court dismissed most of the challenges against the law but left the one against the medical licensing officials to go on. That is the case the Fifth Circuit was to consider when Texas asked that the question of whether the medical licensing official can enforce the law if it is violated be sent to the Texas State Supreme Court for clarification as to what the state law allows. The Fifth Circuit allowed that to proceed. This makes sense because the case deals with state law, not federal law.

The pro-abortion side objected to this because it would cause a delay in the proceedings while the law is still in effect. So, they went back to the U.S. Supreme Court and asked it to intervene to stop the case from going to the Texas Supreme Court. The Supreme Court denied the request, making no judgment, but simply allowing the proceedings to continue.

That’s where the pro-abortion advocates at the Supreme Court led by Justice Sonia Sotomayor lost it. They dissented with much fanfare, saying, “The Fifth Circuit should have immediately remanded this case to the District Court, allowing it to consider whether to issue preliminary relief.” Imagine all these babies being born in Texas. Preposterous, in their view. It is a disaster as far as Justice Sotomayor is concerned. She wrote, “This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies. I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee.”

Aside from the forceful pro-abortion advocacy of Justice Sotomayor, supported by Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, not a lot has happened in the case. It is still ongoing. Texas may still lose in the end. The ruckus you read about in the media is the early signs of desperation from the pro-abortion side.

It is a preview of what we can expect when the Dobbs decision is handed down if it does not live up to their abortion on demand for any reason up to birth dreamland.

Texas Abortion Law Cases at the Supreme Court—What was it All About?

By | Case Vault, Legal, News and Events, Texas | No Comments

On Monday (November 1, 2021), the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments in two cases (Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, and United States v. Texas) challenging the Texas Heartbeat Act (S.B. 8). The law prohibits most abortions after a heartbeat can be detected through an ultrasound.

Other laws around the country have tried to do this only to run afoul of SCOTUS’ arbitrary viability line which makes a law unconstitutional in the Court’s view.

The Texas Heartbeat Act is unique because it explicitly prohibits any state law enforcement from enforcing the law. Instead, it allows any private citizen to bring a civil suit against anyone who performs or helps someone obtain an illegal abortion.

Because of this, abortionists cannot simply sue state officials, as they usually do to prevent the implementation of this law. And that is the question before the Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson, “whether a State can insulate from federal-court review a law that prohibits the exercise of a constitutional right by delegating to the general public the authority to enforce that prohibition through civil actions.”

This has confused many people because popular media outlets love to fixate on the “war on women” and the abortion narrative. But I hope you can see by the question presented how the issue before the Court is not really about abortion. We have a fundamental disagreement about abortion being a “constitutional right,” obviously. It is not. Still, the legal question, as presented, could be about any other constitutional right.

This is why even some of the more constitutionally faithful justices expressed concerns about the law. Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked about an amicus brief filed by the Firearms Policy Coalition that argued that a similar law would be used against Second Amendment rights in liberal states. He said, “[I]t could be free speech rights. It could be free exercise of religion rights.  It could be Second Amendment rights. If this position is accepted here, the theory of the amicus brief is that it can be easily replicated in other states that disfavor other constitutional rights.”

Justice Clarence Thomas asked about the concern that those bringing the suit have apparently suffered no injury, even though they will be awarded monetary relief. “[U]sually, when you think of traditional torts, there is a duty, there’s an injury to the individual. It’s a private matter. There is no requirement here that there be an injury to the plaintiff.”  To this, the Texas Solicitor General Judd Stone rightfully answered that the Texas Supreme Court does, in fact, require an injury in fact, even if none is explicitly asserted in the text of the law. But Justice Thomas struggled to find the injury, “So what would that injury be in this — under S.B. 8, if it’s an injury in fact?”

Those attacking the law had serious difficulty making their case, too. SCOTUS has strong precedent which restricts a federal court’s power to enjoin state judges. That is why the pro-abortion side sought to enjoin state law clerks. However, this seemed artificial and unenforceable ultimately. Justice Samuel Alito expressed the skepticism this way:

“[A] clerk performs a ministerial function. Somebody shows up with a complaint, wants to file a complaint, and assuming the formal requirements are met, the clerk files the complaint. The clerk doesn’t have the authority to say, you can’t file this complaint because it’s a bad complaint. I mean, what if the judge, the presiding judge in a particular jurisdiction, said, okay, fine, you don’t want the clerks filing these things, if anybody shows up with an S.B. 8 complaint, call me and I’ll docket it myself? Then what?”

In United States v. Texas, the question was related, but it had to do with the federal government’s power to obtain injunctive or declaratory relief against state officials to stop the enforcement of a law, like the Texas Heartbeat Act. And if the effort of the Texas abortionists to obtain such a relief is difficult, this one seems even more problematic under the federalism principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution.

Justice Neil Gorsuch stressed the unprecedented nature of the United States’ request by pointing out it would be the first time in the nation’s history that the Court would grant such a request:

Justice Gorsuch: “General, are you aware of a precedent that permits an injunction against all persons in the country or the world, the cosmos, who bring suit?

U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar: No, Justice Gorsuch.

There are novel legal concepts to consider in both these cases for sure, but ultimately this is a problem of SCOTUS’ own making by its underlying, unconstitutional overreach when it comes to abortion. Texas and other states simply continue to try to find ways to save babies within the limits imposed by law. The Texas Heartbeat Act is said to have been saving 150 babies a day, thousands by now. And that is a good thing, no matter how you look at it.

That is why Concerned Women for America (CWA) stood with the people of Texas and Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has been a champion for life, on the steps of the Supreme Court on the day of oral arguments. And we will continue to do so until the day the Court acknowledges the error of its ways and restores justice for the unborn. We are praying that day is very close.

AG Garland Defends Intimidation Actions

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

AG Garland Defiantly Defends Action to Intimidate Parents Speaking Out at School Board Meetings 

Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week for an “oversight hearing” of his leadership at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).  Out of the gate, Republican Senators took the opportunity to question him intensely on his October 4 memorandum to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in which he cites “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.” When pressed, Garland admitted he had no evidence of these charges beyond news reports that he failed to investigate.

As a paper trail of communication has uncovered,  AG Garland’s memo was undeniably a coordinated response to a request for action from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) in a letter to President Biden that likens the actions of engaged parents as “the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

Lost on no experienced advocate is the chilling effect this threat from the nation’s most powerful law-enforcement apparatus will inflict on parents trying to stand up for their rights as taxpaying citizens and the safety and protection of their children in schools. Concerned Women for America immediately sent a letter to Attorney General Garland when he issued his directive, reminding him that parents are sovereign in raising and educating their children and their grievances are protected speech, not an excuse for federal investigation.

While he repeatedly identified “spirited debate” and disagreement over school policy and curriculum as a First Amendment right, Garland defiantly defended the tone and content of his memo to the FBI, refusing to recognize the rightful concern such a call for federal law enforcement engagement in local schools has raised.  Even in the aftermath of NSBA retracting the aggressive language in its letter—catalyzed by school boards in Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania making high-profile exits from the association—Garland doubled-down and rejected any call for withdrawing his decree.

AG Garland’s appearance before the Senate came on the heels of his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. During that hearing, Democrat Chairman Jerry Nadler refused a request from Republicans to air a revealing video compilation of courageous moms and dads speaking at school board meetings and pleading with local authorities to hear and respect their concerns. Censoring this video for a public hearing begs the question: Why are Democrats bent on suppressing the voices of parents? Perhaps they fear what this exposure really means about their morally destructive agenda.

Before the government-mandated closures of COVID-19, many parents had no idea what was being peddled in the classrooms. When parents were forced to become home-based substitute teachers, they were given an inside view into radical curricula promoting the left’s agenda for Critical Race Theory, deceptive gender ideology, and sexually explicit content. It was a needed wake-up call.

If there is anything positive to take away from Garland’s Senate appearance, it was his repeated acknowledgment that airing grievances and opposing school board policies are protected forms of speech under the Constitution.  What remains to be seen is how this Administration might weaponize law enforcement to intimidate parents from action if school officials do not like what they hear and want to threaten parents into silence.

Girls’ Sports Bill Signed! Please say thanks.

By | Texas | No Comments

Have you said “thank you” yet?  You are only required to sit through one all-night committee hearing or watch a legislator stand for eleven hours on the chamber floor defending a bill to understand the burden legislators are willing to assume to give us laws to protect and defend us. In one of the floor debates, Rep. Matt Schaefer (R – District 6) read from the Bible to refute heresy from the opponent.

Ephesians 1:15-17 says, “For this reason, I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.”

Please Act:

  1. Go to Concerned Women for America of Texas’ legislative update page to review the assessment of the 87th Legislative Session and see the work of our elected warriors.
  2. Contact Gov. Greg Abbott and thank him for signing the Protect Girls Sports bill. Contact form | Mailing address: State Capitol, P.O. Box 12428, Austin, TX 78711
  3. Contact the elected officials below and thank them for serving their state well through a very long legislative session.

Email or write to these Texas Senators at: P.O. Box 12068, Austin, TX 78711

Email or write to these Texas Representatives at:  P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910

Please Pray:

“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.  This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” I Timothy 2:1-3

Sincerely,
Ann Hettinger
State Director

Texas flag

Sine Die for the Fourth Time This Year!

By | Texas | No Comments

On January 9, 2021, the 87th Texas Legislature began meeting. Concerned Women for America of Texas had several issues that we hope to see addressed.  The legislature finally adjourned on October 19, 2021, after three Special Sessions were added to the regular session. 7163 bills and requests for constitutional amendments were filed in the regular session. Many of these were refiled in the three Special Sessions.  2,157 have become law and 20 were vetoed. These are the results:

Sanctity of Life

Legislation that prohibited the distribution of abortifacients through the mail was filed.  The fraud and irregular use of this medication caused by this method of distribution threatened many innocent victims. Rep. Briscoe Cain, (R-District 128) filed HB 6 and Rep. Stephanie Klick, (R-District 91) filed HB 6, in the Second Special Session, but not until Sen. Eddie Lucio, (D-District 27) filed SB 4 in the second Special Session were we able to see the bill enacted.  It was signed by Gov. Greg  Abbott on September 17 and becomes law on December 2, 2021.

Legislation that prohibited abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat was widely supported by conservative legislators. Rep. Shelby Slawson, (R- District 59) filed HB 1165 that was identical to Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-District 1) SB 8.  Gov. Abbott signed SB 8 into law on May 19, and it became effective on September 1, 2021. This unique approach to regulation has never been enacted before. It creates a civil penalty for an infraction ($10,000 maximum per abortion) and that cause of action may be taken by any citizen against a medical technician who performs the abortion. No governmental entity is involved in the prosecution of the case. It appears that it may be called before the United States Supreme Court in the near future for adjudication. Right now, there is no injunction against it.

Defense of Family

During the last interim, multiple cases involving Texas Child Protective Services revealed a lack of control in the prosecution of families regarding child abuse.  Rep. James Frank, (R- District 69) filed HB 567 which establishes the procedures and grounds for terminating the parent-child relationship when governmental agencies are contending for the possession of a child. The legislation was allowed to become law without the governor’s signature and was effective September 1, 2021.

The issue of gender modification remains a disappointment for this 87th Legislature. Multiple bills were filed. HB 68 by Rep. Steve Toth, (R-District 15) and SB 1646 by Sen. Charles Perry, (R-District 28) would have prohibited parents of minor children from seeking life-altering gender transitioning surgeries and pharmaceuticals for their children. CWA has been convinced that this approach unduly burdens the rights of parents to make choices for their children.  Rep. Matt Krause, (R-District 93) filed HB 1399 and Sen. Bob Hall, (R-District 2) filed SB 1311 which denies insurance coverage for those providing these procedures for gender transition, gender reassignment, or gender dysphoria for minors. This burdens the medical provider. These bills failed in the regular session and Gov. Abbott did not put them on the call for any of the three Special Sessions.

Education

For the last few sessions, homeschool families have worked to make UIL activities available for homeschooled students.  This session, HB 547, was again filed by Rep. James Frank. It passed and was signed by Governor Abbott on June 18, 2021, and effective on September 1, 2021.  As a result, these students are now are eligible to join teams in their local school district and participate in their competitions.

By law, every Independent School District in Texas is required to appoint a Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC) regarding sex-education curriculum for public schools.  However, the rules regarding the membership of the Council, the meeting forum, and the records of those meetings have been weak. SB 442 was filed by Sen. Bryan Hughes, (R-District 1) and a companion bill, HB 3872 by Rep. Harold Dutton, (D-District 142) fortified and clarified the responsibilities of that Council. SB 442 failed to pass, however, it was amended on to HB 1525 and became law. That was signed by Gov. Abbott on June 16, 2021, and was effective that day!

Every year some students fail to achieve satisfactory performance on final assessment tests.  Rather than leave them to an unproductive future, Rep. Harold Dutton, D-District 142) authored HB 4545 which created grants to be used for accelerated instruction for them.  It was signed by Gov. Abbott on June 16 and became effective that day.

In one of the most contentious battles of the session, Concerned Women for America of Texas took up the battle of protecting girls’ sports in UIL competitions in Texas.  The issue at the core was whether or not biological males could compete on sports teams. In hearing after hearing we heard examples of the displacement of girls by “transgendered females” who have physical advantages over biological females.  In an effort to preserve a fair and level playing field, Rep. Valoree Swanson, (R. District 150) authored HB 25 in the third Special Session after having authored and defended similar bills in all three prior sessions.  It finally passed on October 17, 2021, and Gov. Abbot has said he will sign it into law. Sen. Charles Perry, (R-District 28), and Rep. Cole Hefner, (R-Dist. 5) also filed similar bills. Some of these included protections for college and university level (NCAA).  That issue failed to achieve movement in the regular session and Gov. Abbott did not put that issue on the call for any of the Special Sessions.

Many parents have been concerned about the curriculum in Texas Public Schools containing materials promoting the Critical Race Theory.  Concerned Women for America of Texas supported the bill filed by Rep. Steve Toth, (R-District 15) which restricted all districts from allowing it.  Sen. Bryan Hughes, (R-District 1) filed SB 3 in the Second Special Session and it utilizes teacher training programs to affect the implementation. We feel this has weaknesses and that parents will be required to be more watchful.  SB 3 was passed and signed by Gov. Abbott on September 17, 2021.  It will be effective on December 2, 2021.

Sexual Exploitation

For the last two decades, our legislative body has increased awareness and restrictions on human trafficking. This year, HB 390, was authored by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, requiring annual human trafficking awareness and prevention training in commercial lodging establishments. SB 316 by Sen. Joan Huffman, (R-District 17), was an identical bill supported by CWA of Texas.  It was passed and Gov. Abbott signed it into law on May 18, 2021, and it became effective immediately.

Religious Liberty

During the recent pandemic, citizens came to understand how fleeting their religious liberties were.  Government entities unabashedly closed houses of worship across the state and enforced those closures with citations and arrests. Sen. Angela Paxton, (R-District 8) filed SB 251 similar in intent to one filed by Rep. Matt Shaheen, (R-District 66).  He filed HB 525 which “declared a religious organization is an essential business at all times in this state, including during a declared state of disaster, and the organization’s religious and other related activities are essential activities even if the activities are not listed as an essential in an order issued during the disaster.” And they cannot be ordered to close or otherwise alter the organization’s purposes or activities. The vote in the Senate was 27-3, and in the House, it was 127-10.   It was signed by Gov. Abbott on June 18 and became effective immediately. When a bill has a positive vote of 2/3 of each chamber, the bill is effective upon the governor’s signature.

In addition, HB 1239, authored by Rep. Scott Sanford, (R-District 70) which prohibits a government agency or public official “…may not issue an order that closes or has the effect of closing places of worship in this state or in a geographic area of this state.”  And, “in this section, ‘effect of closing’ includes any restriction on the occupancy or capacity of a place of worship.” This bill passed and was signed by Gov. Abbot on June 16, 2021, and became effective immediately.

 Citizens have been urging our legislative body to protect them from censorship by social media.  Rep. Briscoe Cain, (R-District 128) filed HB 20, which provides relief and protections for citizens being censored by social media outlets. SB 5 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-District 1) addressed the issue as well.  While CWA of Texas chose to stay neutral on these bills, HB 20 was passed and signed by Gov. Abbott on September 9, 2021, and became effective on December 2, 2021.

National Sovereignty

After the General election of 2020, citizens were concerned that voter fraud should not compromise Texas elections.  Multiple bills were filed.  HB 574 by Rep. Greg Bonnen, (R-District 24) raised the penalties for fraud in the conduct of an election.  It was signed by Governor Abbott on June 3.  Also, Rep. Andrew Muir filed HB 3 in the second Special Session; Rep. Steve Allison filed HB 280 in the second Special Session; both asking for increased penalties for election fraud. Neither passed.

Rep. Steve Toth, (R-District 15) filed a bill asking for a forensic audit of the 2020 election results in certain counties.  It was not passed.

The omnibus Election Integrity Protection Act of 2021, SB 7, was filed by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-District 1) which “seeks to address these issues by strengthening poll watcher protection, bringing about transparency by utilizing technology throughout the electoral process, limiting the most common fraudulent practices and opportunities for fraudulent practices, and providing better and more timely evidence in investigations into alleged voter fraud.”  (Taken from the bill analysis.) This seventy-five-page bill failed to pass in the regular session but passed as SB 1 by Sen. Hughes, in the second Special Session.  HB 6, by Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-District 128) was a very similar bill. Gov. Abbott signed SB 1 into law on September 7, 2021, and became effective that day.

Three calls this weekend to save girls’ sport

By | Texas | No Comments

We are in a David and Goliath moment. The Goliath of big businesses has sent an open letter to the state legislature urging legislators to “do nothing” on HB 25, a bill that will codify UIL rules in Texas law to ensure students play sports according to their sex assigned at birth. You can read more about Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Texas efforts on girls’ sport here and here.

The third Special Session of the Texas legislature is winding down, so it is critical that the House vote on SB 25 early next week. If our lawmakers don’t act quickly and effectively, their inaction will place approximately 300,000+ girl athletes in Texas public schools 7-12 at risk to compete against biological males.

Would you take time this weekend to make three calls?

  1. Contact Chairman Trent Ashby (R- District 57) and ask him to send the Constitutional Rights & Remedies committee report for HB 25 to the Calendar Committee immediately to ensure the clock doesn’t run out on the bill. Phone: (512) 463-0508 | E-mail
  2. Contact the office of Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan and urge him to prioritize HB 25 on the House Calendar Committee. (512) 463-1000 | Online Form
  3. Contact your state representative and ask him or her to support HB 25 should the bill come to the full floor for a vote. Find your representative here.

 Please Pray: “Lord, we ask that You would fortify our Texas policymakers and to follow David’s example to have faith in God and stand up against the Goliath of big businesses. I Samuel 17:45 says: ‘You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock.’”

“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time, we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up or quit.  Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10  (The Message)

Ann Hettinger
State Director

Another opportunity to support girls’ sports in Texas

By | Texas | No Comments

On September 20, the Texas legislature began the Third Special Session, making it a total of four sessions for the 87th Legislature. Concerned Women for America of Texas has been in Austin for all four sessions working to pass legislation that aligns with CWA’s seven core issues.

This week, HB 25, a girls’ sports bill sponsored by State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Dist. 150), was assigned to the Select Constitutional Rights and Remedies Committee. Now it’s time to activate our prayer and action network to see that HB 25 is passed and signed into law.

A majority of Texans support protecting female athletes from physical harm and losing scholarships and endorsements.  A majority of Texas legislators support the right and opportunity of girls to compete in their own sports. Gov. Greg Abbott has put legislation to protect girls’ sports on the Special Session call three times for the 87th Legislature.  The Texas Senate has passed the girls’ sports bill four times. Now it’s time for the Texas House to pass the girls’ sports bill.

This issue affects Texans of all races, cultures, and backgrounds.  According to Texas Education Agency (TEA) statistics for the 2019-20 school year, there are approximately 862,137 females of African American, Hispanic, and other ethnicities and approximately 318,953 white females.1 Since the enactment of Title IX in 1972, national statistics show two in five girls (40%) now participate in school sports.2 So, school sports for grade 7-12 in Texas accounts for approximately 472,436 Texas girls. These statistics do not include private, parochial, or homeschool students.

The Third Session of the 87th Legislature ends on October 19, so it’s critical that you make your voice heard on this very important issue.

Please Act:

  1. Contact the office of Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan and urge him to prioritize HB 25 on the House Calendar Committee. (512) 463-1000 | Online Form
  2. Contact the members of the Select Constitutional Rights and Remedies Committee and ask them to support HB 25.
  3. Contact your state representative and ask them to protect girls’ sports and support HB 25. Find who represents you in the Texas House by clicking here.
  4. Forward this email to family and friends.

Please Pray:

  1. Pray that our young women will not be denied benefits from their God-given talents and abilities.
  2. Pray that the forces of evil will be cut off.
  3. Pray that citizens will wake up to their role in righteousness in government.

“We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  See that no one repays another with the evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.”   I Thessalonians 5:14-15

Sincerely,
Ann Hettinger


I’d like to provide an example for you:  Alanna Smith is an African American high school athlete from Connecticut.  She is from a family of exceptionally gifted athletes and is on track to play professional sports unless her opportunity is stolen by an undeserving biological male. Alanna, now a high school sophomore, is a short-distance runner (100m, 200m, and 400m). She was a 3-peat 100 Meter Connecticut state champ in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. Her freshman year she learned she would be racing at the Connecticut State Open against a male who identifies as a female.  No matter how many hours Alanna put into training or how hard she worked on speed, endurance, and strength, she had no chance to beat the physical strength of a biological male who previously ran in the men’s division. Alanna felt defeated before stepping onto the track.

In Connecticut alone, two biological boys have been running girls off the track since 2017. Between them, they have set seventeen individual state meet records—registering times that females have no hope of breaking. The sheer size and strength they bring to the track have resulted in more than eighty-five missed opportunities for girls to even qualify for the next level of competition.  As they have continued breaking records and beating biological girls, it is simply not fair for anyone born as a boy to compete against girls. That unfairness does not go away because of what someone believes about their gender identity. 4

We must work hard to protect the rights that women have gained since Title IX when only one in 27 girls participated in school sports.  When biological males are allowed to compete in girls-only sports, girls’ lives are permanently impacted.


1https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/enroll_2019-20.pdf

2https://concernedwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Protecting-Womens-Sports-CWA-fact-sheet-2021.pdf

3https://house.texas.gov/members/find-your-representative/

4https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-i-deserve-a-level-playing-field-20200304-zd36p3jlurfeddfdk6gmuzyv2i-story.html

Ask Speaker Phelan to Pass “Save Girls’ Sports”

By | Texas | No Comments

For the last three sessions of the Texas legislature, Concerned Women for America of Texas has been on the front lines fighting for the passage of a bill that prohibits biological males from competing in girls’ sports.  Physical strength, stamina, size, and other abilities inherent in the male composition make it completely unfair for girls in sports to be required to overcome these advantages in order to play on girls’ teams. Girls are being denied placement on teams, championships, endorsements, and acknowledgments, which help them achieve scholarships and other benefits available to males on male sports teams. These advantages are going to biological males who are taking these positions, claiming to be “transgendered.”

  • In the Regular Session, SB, 29 by Sen. Charles Perry (R-District 8) was killed by the House Public Education Committee. 
  • In the First Special Session, SB 32 by Sen. Perry was not heard by the House Public Education Committee.  
  • In the Second special Session, SB 2 by Sen. Perry was left pending in the House Public Education Committee.  

If girls’ sports are to be protected in Texas, this bill must pass in this Third Special Session that begins Monday, September 20, 2021!

Take Action:

  • Contact the office of Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan and tell him you want to see Texas girls’ sports protected by passing HB 10 sponsored by State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Dist. 150) and that you want the bill assigned to a committee other than the House Public Education Committee.
    (512) 463-1000 | Contact Form
  • Urge your friends to make this call.
  • Urge young women athletes to make this call and be available to testify when it comes before the committee.

Please Pray:

  • Pray that our young women will not be denied benefits from their God-given talents and abilities.
  • Pray that the forces of evil will be cut off.
  • Pray that citizens will wake up to their role in righteousness in government.

“We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  See that no one repays another with the evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.” I Thessalonians 5:14-15

Ann Hettinger
State Director

Help protect vulnerable children in Texas

By | Texas | No Comments

Gov. Greg Abbott (Republican) has called a third Special Session, and he needs to hear that Texans understand that children who struggle with identity should be protected from harmful “gender reassignment” medical practices causing serious health risks, irreversible damage, and increasingly, regret.

Currently, under Texas law, a minor can choose, or be subjected to a choice coerced by adults, to have his or her body “transgendered.” Did you know that puberty-blocking drugs can be administered as early as 7-years-old and 13-year-olds can have mastectomies and “bottom surgery”? 

These experimental transgender treatments and surgeries on minors are not reversible and carry with it multiple other physical and emotional risks and disabilities. These procedures can never actually change the child’s DNA; it is simply a reconfiguration of the child’s body. Please review Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) resources on these experimental treatments and surgeries below my signature.

State Sen. Bob Hall (R-District 2) offered legislation in Texas’ regular legislative session to prohibit this abuse of children in the state. Republican House Leadership deftly crushed the bill, and Gov. Abbott failed to put this issue on the call for the first two Special Sessions.

Take Action:

  1. Contact Gov. Abbott and urge him to add the banning of gender modification to the agenda for the next (third) Special Session. (512) 463-1782 | Contact form
  2. If you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Texas, be sure to let him know.
  3. You may also respectfully Tweet your request to Gov. Abbott (@GovAbbott).

Please Pray:

  • It is no secret that Satan wants to destroy America’s children. Please pray for God’s hand of protection over these little ones.
  • Pray also that adults will dutifully and valiantly defend children as God has created them.
  • Pray that Gov. Abbott and House and Senate Leadership will be moved to prioritize this important issue.

Ann Hettinger
State Director


CWA resources on protecting vulnerable children from experimental transgender treatments and surgeries:

What did the Supreme Court Do in the Challenge Against Texas Heartbeat Law?

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

The radical left and its media enablers are going berserk over the United States Supreme Court’s denial of an application for injunctive relief to stop Texas’s Heartbeat Law from going into effect. The Court simply refused to act in an activist manner and allowed the process to work as it was constitutionally envisioned.

Anyone seeking the Court to take such an extreme action that would frustrate the democratic process in this manner needs a “strong showing” that they are “likely to succeed on the merits” of the case. The pro-abortion side failed to meet that heavy burden.

Though they are fixated on Roe v. Wade, this case presents “complex and novel antecedent procedural questions on which they have not carried their burden.”

To put it simply, the Texas law is not being enforced by state officials, which the pro-abortion side is used to suing in their official capacity, given the fact that they are usually charged with enforcing the law. Not here. This law does not charge any agency or official with its enforcement. Instead, it gives private citizens the right to sue if the law is violated in the future.

The Court then, making no judgment on merits of the case, has refused to enjoin the law (meaning stopping it from going into effect) until there is an actual case or controversy with a proper defendant in order for the courts to assess it in the proper context.

The Court concluded: “This order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts.”

Such limited action shows the Court is acting under the sort of judicial restraint envisioned by the constitutional structure, instead of as a super legislature constantly interfering and frustrating the democratic process.

It is discouraging that Chief Justice Roberts joined Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan to dissent from the decision. The Chief Justice recognizes the complex nature of the procedural question presented, saying, “We are at this point asked to resolve these novel questions—at least preliminarily—in the first instance, in the course of two days, without the benefit of consideration by the District Court or Court of Appeals.” But he would actually enjoin the law, frustrating the will of the millions of Texans who helped enact it.  This fits a pattern we have seen from the Chief Justice before, where he seems to worry about public opinion in an unhealthy way, taking steps in every major case to protect what he perceives as the “legitimacy” and independence of the Court.

Not surprisingly, the liberal side of the Court, Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, wrote separately, eager to project that they are ready to act on behalf of the pro-abortion side. No need for them to worry about the legitimacy of the Court. That seems to always cut one way.

We are thankful for Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett for their unwavering commitment to the law and showing the proper judicial restraint in such a politically charged area of law. That’s where it counts.

Texas Celebrates Life!

By | Texas | No Comments

Today, September 1, 2021, Concerned Women for America of Texas joined other pro-life organizations as we celebrated the first day of the enforcement of the Texas Heartbeat Act. This bill, offered by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-District 1) and Rep. Shelby Slawson (R-District 59), prohibits the abortion of any pre-born child with a distinguishable heartbeat. It is estimated that this will save one hundred and fifty babies a day in Texas.

You can watch the announcement filmed today in the Atrium at the Texas Capitol. Watch my remarks starting at the 5:33 mark. Thank your senator or representative if they voted for it. And thank our Lord for the officials that heard His voice and followed His leadership, making Texas much safer for babies.

Ann Hettinger
State Director

 

Girls’ Sports Bill to Be Heard in Committee on Tuesday!

By | Texas | No Comments

Senate Bill 2 (Sen. Charles Perry – R. District 28), the girls’ sports bill, is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Public Education Committee this Tuesday, August 24, at 10:30 a.m. (or upon final adjournment of the House) in the Capitol Auditorium, E1.004. Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Texas has been advocating for restricting athletes who play in girls’ sports to be biological females only. We will be in Austin, representing your voice during the hearing.

We recently interviewed a young basketball athlete and her mother about the impact of biological males getting to play in girls’ sports. You can watch the videos here. Download the CWA Fact Sheet here.

Take Action!

#1. Contact the members of the Public Education Committee and urge them to vote YES on SB 2. If you are a member of CWA Texas, be sure to let them know.

#2. Contact your state representative and tell them to vote FOR SB 2 when it reaches the House floor! Click here to learn who represents you in the Texas House.

#3. Forward this information to those in your circle of influence who could help us protect our girls’ sports.

Please pray!

  1. Pray for the legislators who are working on this issue that they may have clarity on the issue and the courage to act wisely.
  2. Pray for those impacted by the girls’ sports issue that they will come to Austin to testify in favor of the bill.

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”  II Timothy 1:7

Ann Hettinger
State Director

Girls’ Sports Matters in Texas – Hear Why!

By | Texas | No Comments

Concerned Women for America Senior Director of External Relations, Danielle Buck, recently sat down with student-athlete Kassidy Comer and her mother Janet Comer to discuss the importance of female athletics and the current threat to girls’ sports in the state of Texas. We encourage you to watch their interviews below and then take action on this very important issue.

Take Action!
Contact Gov. Greg Abbott and thank him for placing the saving girls’ sports issue on the Special Session call. Urge him to include women’s collegiate sports protections too.

Phone: 512-463-2000 or online contact form.

Texans: Calls Needed on Critical Race Theory

By | Texas | No Comments

Is it OK with you that Critical Race Theory is being taught to our children?

Legislation currently filed in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate addresses the issue of educating Texas school children about issues of race. These bills, SB 3 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R-District 1), have passed out of the Texas Senate, and HB 178 Rep. Steve Toth (R-District 15) has yet to have a hearing before a House Committee. Concerned Women for America of Texas have been compared both bills. We support HB 178 and oppose SB 3.

You need to consider these points:

  1. All curricula in Texas are established by the State Board of Education, a single-member district board elected by the constituents of the respective districts.
  2. Those curricula are adopted in alignment with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills metrics established by that board in conjunction with the reports by evaluating committees in each discipline every ten years.
  3. Curricula from different disciplines are designed to allow concepts from one discipline to input education in another discipline,e., social studies words are learned in the language arts studies; social studies concepts are integrated into math problems.
  4. The options offered within this curricula are adopted by local independent school district school boards and supplied to their school district classrooms.
  5. The issue of race is controlled by the United States Constitution (Fourteenth Amendment) and the Texas Constitution. This prohibits prejudice toward or against anyone on the basis of race, color, creed, or nationality.
  6. The issue of Critical Race Theory is being used to teach our students that those who have light skin are the oppressors and those who have dark skin are the oppressed, thereby tainting the next generation with racists prejudices.
  7. CWA of Texas believes that the Texas Legislature must guard our school children against divisive concepts that create anger and distrust between citizens of all ages.

CWA of Texas is supporting HB 178 and opposing SB 3 for these reasons:

  1. SB 3 provides no prohibition of teaching the concepts of Critical Race Theory; it simply allows Independent School Boards to make the determination for each school district.
  2. While SB 3 appears to address the major issues of Critical Race Theory, however, it attaches no penalty on school districts adopting it.
  3. HB 178 would establish the constitutionally appropriate curricula concept and require that the State Board of Education incorporate that concept into all Texas Public School curricula, Kindergarten through Grade 12.
  4. Because concepts flow from discipline to discipline, i.e., Social Studies to Language Arts or to Mathematics, we believe that the bill must address curricula in all disciplines. HB 178 will do this, and SB 3 will not.
  5. SB 3 allows Independent School District Boards to adopt resolutions that integrate this flawed theory into policies that impact hiring, procurement, and awarding of contracts.

Read more information on CTR here.

Take Action:

To halt this damaging theory in Texas:

  • Contact your State Senator and urge him or her to vote for HB 178. Contact your State Representative and urge him or her to oppose SB 3 and vote for HB 178. Also, ask your legislators how they intend to vote on the bill. If you are a member of Concerned Women for America of Texas, be sure to let them know.
  • Share this information with like-minded friends and family. Educate those around you who share our values about this threat and ask them to take action.

Please pray:

May God help us protect the citizens of our state and nation, particularly our children, from this incendiary, anti-American concept.

“Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even
to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But when the light shines on them, it becomes
clear how evil these things are. And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds.” Ephesians 5:11-14  NLT

Ann Hettinger
State Director

URGENT ALERT! Will you pray?

By | Texas | No Comments

Question: When God opens the Red Seas in your life, what do you do? I don’t know about you, but I run with my feet and pray with my heart! That is where we are this evening in Texas, with our legislative session ending in one week.

Speaker of the Texas House, Dade Phelan (R-District 21), unexpectedly extended the time for House and Senate bills to be considered by the Texas House, giving Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Texas additional opportunities to see our bills enacted. Here is a brief status report on them:

  • SB 7/HB 6, the Election Integrity bill, is in conference committee waiting for a consensus bill to take to both chambers
  • SB 1311/HB 1399, the Gender Modification Prohibition bill has been advanced to the House Public Health Committee, then needs to be scheduled for floor debate by the House Calendars Committee
  • SB 29/HB 1458, the protection for women’s sports to be free from transgender participation, has been scheduled on the House Major State Calendar for tomorrow with a negating amendment, reducing it to a study. It needs to be amended back to the original text and passed.
  • SB 26/HB 1239, the protection against government closing places of worship will need to go to a conference committee between chambers for a consensus bill which will then need to go back to each chamber for adoption
  • SB 442 is a bill that restricts public school curriculum from having sex-ed materials, which are inappropriate for students, and brings them under the guidance of parental councils.

ACTION AND PRAYER:  Today, our prayer is action! Our CWA of Texas leaders are doing everything in their power to impact these bills. Our hope lies in the power of God to establish the prayers and work of His children. Therefore, I am asking you to pray without ceasing. II Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Ann Hettinger
State Director