Concerned Women for America

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Concerned Women for America
Concerned Women for America.png
Concerned Women for America's logo
Formation 1979
250,000 to 750,000
CEO and President
Penny Young Nance

Concerned Women for America (CWA) is a social conservative Christian women's activist group in the United States.

The group was founded in San Diego, California in 1979 by Beverly LaHaye, wife of evangelical Christian minister and prolific author of the Left Behind series Timothy LaHaye.[1][2] It is a 501(c)(3) public policy women’s organization. LaHaye is its chair, and Penny Young Nance is the president and CEO and was a Federal Communications Commission advisor on children's social and media concerns.[3]


Initially, CWA was formed as a reaction to the National Organization for Women and a 1978 Barbara Walters interview with feminist Betty Friedan.[4] LaHaye stated of the interview that she was convinced Friedan’s goal was a "misguided attempt to dismantle the bedrock of American culture: the family,"[5] and that she believed Christian women were not included in discussions of women's rights. She held a rally in a local auditorium, which marked the beginning of CWA.[5]


CWA opposes abortion, sex education, same-sex marriage,[6][7] embryonic stem cell research, needle exchange programs,[8] and pornography. It opposes feminism, and opposed the 1988 Act for Better Child Care (H.R. 3660), which would have provided government-sponsored child care for families in which both parents are working.[9] CWFA supports teaching intelligent design in public schools and advocates school prayer, saying in a 1988 book titled America: To Pray or Not To Pray?, that since the Engel v. Vitale Supreme Court case of 1962 outlawed government-directed prayer, morality has declined in public schools and in society in general.[10] In 1983, CWA helped the plaintiff in the case Mozert v. Hawkins County School Board, a district-court case in which the plaintiff argued it is unconstitutional for public schools to require reading material that conflicts with the religious values of parents.[11][12]

CWA does not oppose contraception. CWA CEO Penny Nance wrote, "Concerned Women for America, has no position on the issue of contraceptives. Our members hold a variety of views on the subject. However, many Catholic women follow the church’s teaching on the use of contraceptives."[13]

Appearing on Fox News, CWA CEO Penny Nance was critical of Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx's call for a National Day of Reason in addition to the National Day of Prayer.[14]

On 8 May 2013 CWA's board of directors voted unanimously to include support for Israel as part of its core mission. CWA says it will support "laws and policies that strengthen the ties between Israel and the U.S." and "Policies enacted by our State Department, Department of Defense and others that encourage the development of our relationship with Israel.” Penny Nancy said that support from CWA's founder, Beverly LaHaye, was the biggest driver behind the group formalizing its support for Israel.[15]

Beverly LaHaye Institute[edit]

The Beverly LaHaye Institute (BLI) is the research arm of Concerned Women for America.[16]

BLI filed an amicus brief in January 2014 in Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby. Most of the amicus briefs in the Hobby Lobby case focused on religious freedom issues. BLI's brief had a unique focus on rebutting the government's argument that the birth control mandate imposed by Affordable Care Act would improve women's health and prevent unintended pregnancies. The BLI brief rejected a clear-cut notion of "intended" and "unintended" pregnancies. BLI argued that the government's evidence, based mostly on a 2011 Institute of Medicine report, did not prove the birth control mandate would increase use rates for birth control or that unintended pregnancies harm women's health. The brief also argued against the government's claim that the mandate promotes "gender equity."[17]



  • Penny Young Nance, CEO and President 2013-[18]
  • Wendy Wright, President 2006-2013[19]
  • Penny Young Nance, CEO 2010-2013[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ronnee Schreiber, 'Pro-Women, Pro-Palin, Antifeminist: Conservative Women and Conservative Movement Politics', in Crisis of Conservatism? The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement, & American Politics After Bush, Gillian Peele, Joel D. Aberbach (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199764020, 2011, p. 133
  3. ^ Concerned Women for America Fact Check.Org, October 2010. Retrieved: 14 September 2013.
  4. ^ Gardiner, S., "Concerned Women for America: A Case Study", Feminism and Women's Studies, 28 August 2006. Online as of 19 April 2007.
  5. ^ a b Beverly LaHaye marks three decades of promoting traditional values through CWA Archived September 19, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Christian, 20 December 09. Retrieved: 14 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Defense of Family". Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  7. ^ "Core Issues: Biblical Foundations". Retrieved 2015-01-04. 
  8. ^ Concerned Women for America of Illinois. "Drug Needles: Bad Policy, Bad Results" (PDF). 
  9. ^ Hunter 1991, p. 188
  10. ^ Hunter 1991, pp. 203–204, 368
  11. ^ Hunter 1991, p. 270
  12. ^ Suber, Peter, ed. "Mozert v. Hawkins City Board of Education". Earlham College. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  13. ^ Nance, Penny (4 October 2013). "There is no war on women". Politico. Washington, DC. 
  14. ^ Daily Mail Reporter (2013-05-03). "Right-wing womens' group says Obama's transportation nominee's National Day of Reason is 'an example of the type of thinking that led to the Holocaust'". UK Online. 
  15. ^ Rubin, Jennifer (5 June 2013). "A strong new player in the pro-Israel community". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. 
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Nazzworth, Napp (31 January 2013). "'Obamacare' Birth Control Mandate Does Not Promote Women's Health, Conservative Women's Group Argues". The Christian Post. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  18. ^ "Our Experts". Concerned Women for America. Retrieved 2014-05-04. Penny Young Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), is a recognized national authority on cultural, children’s, and women’s issues. 
  19. ^ "Wright named president of Concerned Women for America". Baptist Press. 2006-02-01. Retrieved 2013-11-09. The Christian conservative group Concerned Women for America announced Wendy Wright as its new president Jan. 30. [...] Concerned Women for America's board of trustees selected Wright Jan. 26.
  20. ^ "Welcome Penny Young Nance as CWA's New CEO!". Concerned Women for America. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2013-11-09. Concerned Women for America (CWA) has started off 2010 with the exciting addition of Penny Young Nance as Chief Executive Officer. 


External links[edit]