As we leave 2020 behind and begin a new year, it’s important to reflect on the victories we’ve achieved, as well as prepare for the challenges we’re about to face.
The ACLJ fought for and won numerous pro-life victories and tackled ghoulish extreme abortion legislation. Last year, we helped President Trump deliver a painful blow to Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry through a new rule blocking up to $60 million under the Title X program from going to abortion providers. This year, after numerous attempts to keep its unmerited claim to that money, Planned Parenthood struck out at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The full court refused to vote on even hearing the case. It was a complete debacle for Planned Parenthood.
As you’ll remember we not only filed public comments supporting the new HHS rule, we asked our members to do the same, and you submitted an astounding 13,000+ comments, accounting for over 10% of all comments received by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
We helped achieve a big win in our fight to defend the conscience rights of pro-life medical professionals. In a historic move, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against a Vermont medical center that forced our client, a pro-life nurse, to participate in an abortion procedure. This epic move assured pro-life healthcare workers they are not powerless.
We even helped Oklahoma draft a monumental pro-life law that allows families to sue doctors who commit fraudulent or coerced abortions.
The ACLJ stood up for American families across the country who were struggling with online learning when schools were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to assist multiple families in need of childcare and student supervision. We directed parents to the proper state-issued resources which answered questions about paid time off from work and provided information about supervised child care centers.
We advocated on behalf of numerous families with special needs students, contacting school officials to work with each individual case. And one consistent issue many families faced during the Coronavirus pandemic continues to be access to adequate equipment – computers, tablets, or even just reliable Internet connectivity – to complete remote learning. We worked with schools to provide Internet access and equipment to families.
These schools aren’t being asked to provide charity. Public schools are supported by American families’ and their tax dollars. If they are going to close their doors but still collect that money, they are still obligated to work with these families and provide the best educational opportunities available.
And we’ve defended the God-given right of religious liberty and fought against Christian persecution here at home and around the globe.
In October 2019, when Christian pastor Bryan Nerren was arrested in India and his passport was seized, leaving him essentially held prisoner and unable to leave, we took up his case. After seven long months, working with the State Department and U.S. Embassy, the National Security Council, the White House, and Pastor Nerren’s attorney in India, the false charges were dropped, and he was finally allowed to return to the United States.
We continue to fight for our Christian brothers and sisters around the world who are facing deadly persecution at the hand of radical Islam. As we reported, record numbers of innocent Christians were slaughtered for their faith, in countries like Nigeria. We repeatedly went directly to the United Nations – even during a pandemic – to demand international pressure on hostile or apathetic governments – to protect the rights and lives of Christians. And our work WILL NOT STOP until all Christians are free to worship without fear.
But now, with the increasing likelihood of a Joe Biden Presidency, the vital work of the ACLJ is more important than ever before. All of our good work and victories secured over the last four years are in danger as the rising radical Left tries to dismantle the Conservative agenda and laws. We anticipate an all-out assault on traditional values, religion, and the precious unborn. But we will not back down.
The ACLJ has redoubled our commitment to safeguarding freedom and human dignity – here at home and abroad. We stand on guard, prepared and ready to fight for life, liberty, and commonsense, conservative values, now more than ever.
With the challenges ahead, I cannot help but reflect on the words from the Holy Scriptures in Jeremiah as we enter 2021: “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
No matter what happens in the new year, we do not despair as we hold on to hope. But we will also meet every challenge, ready to fight.
On behalf of the entire ACLJ family, I want to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year.
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