Concerned Women for America: Protecting Biblical Values - Part 1 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Welcome everyone to Family Talk. It's a ministry of The James Dobson Family Institute supported by listeners just like you. I'm Dr. James Dobson and I'm thrilled that you've joined us.

Roger Marsh: Well, hello friends and welcome to Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. Thanks so much for joining us today and Happy Presidents Day wherever you might be. You know, you may be familiar with this verse from Genesis 1:27, "So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God, He created them, male and female." As you know, gender is under attack in our country today, and during the next half hour, we're going to hear from a woman who is working hard to stand up for women's rights. She is the CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, our good friend, Penny Young Nance. Now here to further introduce our guest and today's program is Gary Bauer. Let's join them right now, right here on Family Talk.

Gary Bauer: Hello and welcome, everybody, to Family Talk. I'm Gary Bauer, the Senior Vice President of Public Policy here at The James Dobson Family Institute. I'm also the host of Defending Faith, Family, and Freedom, the podcast, here at the JDFI, and I'm honored to serve alongside my longtime friend, James Dobson. You know, I think most of you probably know that years ago I was sentenced to spend most of my adult life in Washington, D.C. I'll be anxious to figure out what God was thinking about that, but that's what I did. I came here to go to law school and I've been working for many years here on issues related to defending faith, family, and freedom. And you all know this is not an easy city to do that job in. There are a lot of forces in Washington, a lot of powerful people that really don't share the same values that mainstream America does or the people around the country that believe in Judeo-Christian values, so it can be a tough job.

I think it was former President Harry Truman who once said that in this city that revolves around the getting of power and the keeping of power, if you want a friend, you should buy a dog. Well, Carol and I have worked our way through, my wife Carol and I have worked our way through a number of dogs. But I have to say that in spite of all those challenges, one of the great blessings of being in the battle in Washington, D.C. is discovering that there are people here that believe in your values and fight for your values often at great cost to themselves, financially and otherwise. And we are really happy today to have one of those people on the show, a good friend of mine disproving Harry Truman, you can have good friends in Washington, Penny Nance, who is the President and CEO of Concerned Women for America. So Penny, welcome to the show. It's great to see you and to be able to spend some time with you.

Penny Young Nance: Oh. Gary, I am always honored to come on with you. You and I, I just enjoy being with you. Your company is great. We're laughing. You know, we're sharing war stories. It's just always just such an honor to be with you and just your storied history in this town is admirable and I just feel so blessed to get to call you as a friend. So thank you so much. And, of course, anytime I'm invited to do anything that has to do with James and Shirley Dobson, I'm in. They are my heroes and have done so much work for the kingdom as you have. And so anyway, it's just a great honor to be with you.

Gary Bauer: Well, they shared their best wishes that they wanted me to pass on to you, and you have been in the trenches with them many times and they have not forgotten all those battles we've all been in over the years. You know, Penny, it's hard for me to believe, but I suspect there's some people out there that don't know, maybe they don't know as much about Concerned Women for America as they should. There's probably a lot of people that don't realize how far back it goes. As I recall Concerned Women for America started close to the beginning of the Reagan administration. So could you fill us in a little bit on that storied history of Concerned Women for America?

Penny Young Nance: Well, you're right. Back in 1979, a pastor's wife out of Southern California, Beverly LaHaye, was sitting on her sofa. This is the story that we've all shared over the years, and I've heard her children tell me the same. She was watching Betty Friedan talk about the ERA, the Equal Rights Amendment, which was of course misnamed only in the way that Washington often does that. It would've made all the leftist things we're fighting today an amendment to the Constitution. That means any prohibitions on abortions, any delineation between male and female, men and women's locker rooms, all the things that we are fighting today because Satan has no new tricks, was alive and well, and sailing through to become an amendment to the Constitution back in 1979. And Betty Friedan stood in front of the media and said women want abortion. And Beverly LaHaye, who is a ferocious leader, but she's kind of shy, stood up on her sofa and said, you don't speak for me, and I just think that is so typical of Concerned Women for America. We're the women who are the antithesis to N.O.W, which by the way is gone.

And today, the modern day Women's March, which is not thriving, we are the women who've stood up against anti-family, anti-woman issues, and stood for the least of these, stood for our children, and stood in the gap. And we continue to do that today. So I came on board as the CEO and President in 2010 in the height of the Obama administration and we had incredible time together and got so much done as you know during the Trump administration. And we're looking forward to brighter days, but we've got to stand in these hard moments and speak up for our families, for Christians, speak on religious freedom issues, on the issue of life. We just all did the March for Life recently and our members are there. And now, Gary, you may not even be aware of this, but we have about 270 Young Women for America chapters, collegiate chapters around the country that are growing and thriving. In any moment that I get discouraged, I call up one of them and realize, all right, God's at work. He's bringing up the next generation. And I feel so much more optimistic about where we are.

Gary Bauer: Oh. That's fantastic. I had heard of that program. I didn't realize it was that widespread. And that's exactly what we need. We need to win the hearts and minds of young Americans who have so many things pressing in on them, giving them quite a different worldview than the one that is best for their futures. You know, you mentioned the Trump administration, Penny, and one of the things that was a real positive with President Trump is that as God had it, he got three Supreme Court vacancies during his presidency and he fulfilled a promise he made in 2016. He appointed really solid nominees for the Supreme Court and every one of those nominees faced a brutal battle. And the reason I bring it up is, well, first of all, we can celebrate the fact that on things like religious liberty, we're in a stronger position at the Supreme Court than we've ever been in.

Penny Young Nance: That's right.

Gary Bauer: And of course, this court with those three new votes finally got rid of this lie that's somewhere in the Constitution there was a right to kill your unborn child. But, Penny, those were horrible fights and you were right in the middle of them. Dr. Dobson was right in the middle of them. I was involved in all of those fights, but I remember the Brett Kavanaugh fight. He was nominated by President Trump. He's on the Supreme Court now, but he faced this incredible smear campaign where women he had never met were accusing him of terrible things. I hesitate to even repeat them, but the reason I'm bringing it up, Penny, is that what you did in the middle of that fight says a lot about how you are and the action you took with volunteers and could you describe that what you intended to do in Washington, D.C. and what ended up happening.

Penny Young Nance: You know, because of what was at stake, which was Roe, the other side, was willing to lie and destroy a human being and his family. And so that's what happened in this case of Brett Kavanaugh. And I remember this is in the middle, just to set the stage this was in the middle of the Me Too movement. And although that movement was important and I think did some good, it went off the rails and became, instead of a moment in which of reckoning for people who had been abusive and discriminatory and criminal even in their behavior, it became a political weapon. And it was wielded against Brett Kavanaugh because they posited as a constitutionalist and that was right, that he would recognize that there's no right to abortion the Constitution and that states we need to have the ability to go state by state and fight for what we believe is reality of life. And so this became about how do we destroy this candidate? And they weren't wrong in thinking that if we can take this one down then if there's a next one, because everybody knew that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was ill.

And so they knew there was going to probably be another one. And they had to take out Brett Kavanaugh because if he gets through and then if she died, which she did end up passing away, then that meant the President would have three Supreme Court justices and that have changed everything. And so they were willing to say whatever. And so Christine Blasey Ford came out of nowhere, made accusations that were unsubstantiated. People that were there at the time disagreed. Even her friends who were leftists said, we have no idea what you're talking about and by the way, we're kind of worried about you.

But that's how it all turned out. At the front end of it though, we had to pause, look into it and make a decision. And let me back up and say one thing. When this opening came up, I said to the White House, we're in the middle of the Me Too movement. You need to probably at this point go ahead and nominate a woman for the position. And the reason is because if it's a man, they're going to accuse him of sexual impropriety. I told them what was going to happen and what they said was, no, no, no. Brett Kavanaugh has had six FBI investigations.

Gary Bauer: Background checks.

Penny Young Nance: We all know him. There's nobody cleaner. And I said, yes, but that's true. And I believe that about him because I know people that know him, but you think they won't lie? Because they will. And of course, that's exactly what happened. So Concerned Women for America looked into it, we recognized there was nothing to it, but if you can't stand in this moment, if you can't stand when things are the hardest, what are you doing? And so, we did. We stood, and actually history was on our side. Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed. And then when the next confirmation opening came, we got Amy Coney Barrett.

It was one of those moments when a women's organization's voice matters so much and we see more and more of those kinds of issues, and I say to women around the country, you are called to your Esther moment. Messenger matters. When we're talking about abortion, when we're talking about sexual identity issues, we're talking about what schools are teaching our children, we need you to stand and speak, and by the way, we're going to train you how to do it. And so it's just been really an important moment for us. I am grateful that whole battle goes in my memory banks of one of the most important and one of the moments I'm so grateful to have gotten to be a part of.

Gary Bauer: Well, the reason I brought it up, and you described it very well, is that I wanted people to understand how risky sometimes it is for men and women of faith to do the right thing. I recall watching the video, I was in D.C. a few times and saw these, I mean there's no other word for it, they were sort of like mobs. There were people banging on the doors of the Supreme Court.

Penny Young Nance: That's exactly what they were.

Gary Bauer: And when you brought in those good Christian women to both lobby, but also to pray for Kavanaugh and his family, you were literally threatened. This is one of the stories that makes me so frustrated when I'll talk sometimes to some pastors. There's many great pastors out there, but I still run into pastors, Dr. Dobson does too, that will say, look, I don't get involved in those sorts of things. You know, we're not interested in politics. That's got nothing to do with my church. Well, Supreme Court justices determine whether your church has the religious liberty that's guaranteed to you in the Constitution. So...

Penny Young Nance: That's right.

Gary Bauer: ... you may not be interested in government, but government's interested in you, as a church or a school. So we have to fight the good fight and we have to follow that biblical injunction that's there over and over and over again. Fear not. And that's what you and Concern Women for America did. Now, Penny, I don't want to give people the idea that all we do is react to things and so forth. You often have taken initiatives to advance the ball down the field, and you're working on a couple now and describe the initiative you have put together. It's legislation, I believe, that's already been introduced that will help women across America that are looking for help, maybe with a pregnancy or with adoption programs, to be able to easily find those programs and that assistance.

Penny Young Nance: You know, I think our team often is on defense when they need to be on offense.

Gary Bauer: Yes.

Penny Young Nance: And I would say that for our political leaders who are afraid to talk about abortion and spell out how extremist the other side is on the issue of abortion. Candidates need to speak out and state their position clearly and make the other side say, you think abortion should be legal anytime, any reason, any number, I'll pay for it by the taxpayer. That's their position. Make them say it. But it also on the other side of that are the alternatives. And of course, Gary, you and I know that our US government spends over a trillion dollars a year on social programs. Recently I had a situation where one of our supporters after the overturn of Rose said, my church wants to be more helpful and we want to be more engaged with women, but we don't really know what we need to do and what do you think? And I said, well, let's look and see what's around you and then see what needs to be done. So I put one of my incredibly smart Gen Zers on it and she started looking.

Well, she had to go to over a dozen websites to glean some information by zip code to understand what was around this church, what was already happening. Turns out a lot was happening, but certainly there's always more that can be done. And so we started to say, you know, what if there was one place you could go just one place? And we called it Life.Gov and I don't know what the final name will be, but Diana Harshbarger from Tennessee introduced the bill called Life.Gov Act.

Gary Bauer: Fantastic.

Penny Young Nance: And then of course, Marco Rubio has a Standing with Mom's Act, which is basically the same thing. The idea is very simple. And we're all like, why didn't we think of this before? And that is, what if there's just one place on the internet where you go type in your zip code or your state or your city and find out what are all the alternatives around you to abortion? What about healthcare? What about legal health, housing, foster care, daycare, adoption, all of the things that a mom will need, educational grants? What is available to a young woman who has an unplanned pregnancy and perhaps her boyfriend says, well, you're on your own.

Gary Bauer: Yes.

Penny Young Nance: And she's thinking, I don't want to have this abortion, but I don't know what else to do. What if she could go on and say, you know what? I've got a lot of resources. I really don't need you. I can figure this out and I will work with my local church. You know, there's public and private efforts. Let's bring this together under the Secretary of HHS. It needs to be constantly updated because it's constantly changed.

Gary Bauer: Sure.

Penny Young Nance: And the other thing is it allows people like us to say, what's missing? What is the piece that's missing? What area is not getting enough help? If we know where that is and what that is, then we can even do more to help these moms through our local churches, through our organizations, if it makes sense, more government effort.

Gary Bauer: You know, the pro-abortion side will often falsely claim that we care about children until they're born and then we don't care about them. Of course, that's a lie, but it's used by the other side to try to grow the welfare state and all those other things. But this effort that you've kicked off really shows how much of a lie that is. We want women to know about all these resources to help them when they're bringing another life into the world, made in the image of God. We want that family unit to be able to succeed and that child to have all the things they need to have a good and decent and successful life.

Penny Young Nance: You know what? An interesting statistic came across my desk recently, and that is that Christians, because, boy, we get a bad rap. They say what you just said, we only care about babies in the womb. We don't care after they're born. That is such a lie. Christians are twice as likely to adopt and three times as likely to be participating in foster care. We're the people that do care. It's just the opposite. The other side wants government money to do an abortion on a woman. Then they never want to hear from her again.

And if she's suffering either emotionally and physically, nope, they're done. They have nothing to do with you. Thank you for your six to $700. Thank you very much. Move on, please. And, you know, we're the opposite. We're the people that take women and their children into our homes. We walk through years with women. Our pregnancy care centers walk through two and three years with women helping them cobble their life together and build a healthy home for their baby. That's what we want. And so I think bringing all those resources together so people see what is already available is the least that we can do.

Gary Bauer: Yes. Well, congratulations on that. I mean, we'll make sure at JDFI to do everything we can to help you get that legislation passed through the House and Senate and signed by a president and see if we can get that accomplished for America's women and children. You alluded to this I believe a little earlier in our conversation, but one of the big issues we're all dealing with now, and it seems sometimes that it came out of nowhere, is this whole transgender movement. It's in the classrooms. It's all over the popular culture. Some people, they're like shell-shocked, like, where did this come from? The more we look into it, this has been simmering for a long time, but as you described the history of Concerned Women for America, I doubt if Beverly LaHaye ever thought there would be a battle over what is a woman.

Penny Young Nance: Yes. Well, and that was Marsha Blackburn that asked that important question at a hearing for one of the justices, another Tennessee woman. But, you know, you're right. She didn't really know about that, but it reared its head pretty early. In fact, in 1995, now I'm really telling my age. I was a brand new twenty-something lobbyist for CWA, and I joined Beverly LaHaye and others at the Fourth UN Women's Conference in Beijing, China, and that was the first place that I heard this. We would go out to the NGO meetings and, I mean, it was crazy.

I was a little shell shocked, but at that time, Tim Wirth, former senator from the great state of Colorado was on the US team for the State Department representing the U.S. at this conference. And the U.S. had put in the documents that there were six genders. Now there's, I don't know, 72 I think is the latest number. It seems like it's a different number, I don't even know what they all are. I can't even imagine what, some of them come up and I'm like, I got to look that up. I'm not sure what that is.

Gary Bauer: Well, I think when we got up this morning, it was 72. It'll probably be 73 or 74 by the time the sun goes down. Right?

Penny Young Nance: Very possibly.

Gary Bauer: Yes.

Penny Young Nance: Yes. It gets bigger and bigger and bigger. And I, as a young twenty-something walked up and I was like, hey, Senator just had a question for you. And I brought it up and he goes, "Yes. There's..." I'm like, "So I just want to understand there's six genders?" And he's like, "Yes. There's six genders." And I'm like, "Well, I will be telling everyone on radio tonight." And it kind of blew up even back then. The churches started to find out, and there was all these calls going into the White House. It was the Clinton administration, and they kind of backed down on it, but it just kind of went underground. It didn't go away. It went into academia where it continued to simmer and grow and grow and grow. And then it made a much bigger splash as it came on the public. And it seemed like it was fast, but no, it was kind of a slow boil. And here we are, and it's another one of those issues that I believe that women are uniquely qualified to speak about.

Not that men can't, and men should, and certainly young women need their fathers to stand up for them on this issue, but it's about the unique dignity of women. It's about the fact that God created male and female and the very people that have turned on women should be the one standing for them. I mean, I think about, you remember the name Patsy Mink, who was from Hawaii. She's turning over in her grave because she was the person who started Title IX, which said that there could be no discrimination between men and women in education, and that included sports. So 50 years later, women are getting kicked off teams, their trophies are stolen, their positions are stolen, their actual scholarships are going to be stolen because we don't recognize the basic difference of biology between men and women.

Gary Bauer: Wow, Penny. I can't believe this time together has everybody gone past? Can I impose on you to come back again tomorrow and be with us so we can talk about a number of other really important issues facing the country?

Penny Young Nance: I loved to, Gary. Thank you so much for giving the opportunity.

Gary Bauer: Fantastic. We'll be together tomorrow.

Roger Marsh: Fathers, brothers, and husbands should certainly stand with women to protect their dignity. Now, today's program was only part one of the discussion featuring Penny Young Nance and Gary Bauer here on Family Talk. Be sure to join us again tomorrow for the conclusion of this important conversation. And remember, if you missed any part of today's broadcast, you can visit our website at to listen to it again. You know, parents certainly don't have it easy in today's world. And if you're a parent, you know exactly what I'm talking about. You are bearing the incredible weight of guiding your kids through a confused and turbulent culture. Seems like everywhere you turn, there are ungodly agendas being pushed upon your kids and you, and they don't wait until the kids are older. It happens at every age and stage of life. Now to walk alongside you and better equip parents with timeless, biblically based advice and tools, we have a special opportunity for you, courtesy of Dr. Dobson himself. He has bundled his bestselling books, Bringing Up Boys and Bringing Up Girls together in one resource package.

Now, we'll be happy to send you both of these books as our way of thanking you for your gift of any amount in support of the ministry of The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute today. So click on the link on the broadcast page at and follow the prompts from there. That's Well, I'm Roger Marsh and behalf of the entire team here at The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, we want to thank you for joining us today. Be sure to tune in again tomorrow for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

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