VIDEO: Frank Luntz visits TFL on eve of 2020 Caucuses

With only days to go before the 2020 Iowa Presidential Caucuses, nationally prominent pollster Frank Luntz brought a group of international students on an immersive trip into American elections to The FAMiLY Leader headquarters in Urbandale, Iowa.

Luntz told TFL the students had visited with presidential hopefuls Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, and they were about to leave for Washington, D.C., to witness the impeachment hearings for President Trump – but Luntz said their trip to Iowa wouldn’t be complete without visiting The FAMiLY Leader.

“I want them to come to Iowa, because I want them to know the truth – how the caucuses work, I want them to meet the voters of Iowa, I want them to experience an American election,” Luntz told TFL President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats. “And I want them to get as close as they can to the candidates, so they can get the chance to judge them the way Iowa voters do.”

Luntz explained he wanted to bring the students to TFL because he wanted them to also hear from a conservative perspective.

Because this year’s caucuses are focused on only the Democrat side of the ticket, Luntz told Vander Plaats, “[The students] have been surrounded by one half of the electorate, and I wanted them to hear from you and the other half. And you’ve had so much influence on the voters here, so much influence on the outcome here, that I thought you were the perfect person to provide that information.”

Luntz brought 15 students, representing 11 nations – including China, Ecuador, Greece, India, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, and more.

With the students watching in the TFL studio audience, Luntz sat down and talked with Vander Plaats about Iowa’s key role in “listening for America,” the moment everyone thought Donald Trump was done-for, why Democrats are mistaken to abandon faith voters, the most memorable moment in Luntz’s distinguished career (which happened at a TFL event), and more:

The FAMiLY Leader serves a unique role in American politics, standing at the intersection of faith and government, and doing so with a biblical voice committed to civility and speaking the truth in love. Your support of TFL is truly changing the way the Church in America impacts the wider culture. Please consider giving today to this important cause!

TFL’s Capitol Connection: Protect Life Amendment advances!

Drew, Chuck, and Danny report from the Iowa Capitol on what has been an unusually busy and exciting first week of the Iowa Legislative session.

Among the big topics – A governor taking bold leadership on life, and the Protect Life Amendment clearing its first hurdle by passing an Iowa Senate subcommittee:

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VIDEO: Gov. Reynolds calls for amendment to protect life

The FAMiLY Leader applauds Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ declaration in her Condition of the State Address that Iowa must protect life by passing an amendment that makes it clear the Iowa Constitution does not grant a “right” to abortion.

Watch the governor’s comments on life and Bob Vander Plaats’ brief comments in response below:

Join the team that’s defending and protecting life in Iowa! Give to The FAMiLY Leader today!

“The vast majority of Iowans support commonsense regulations that would protect mothers and children from efforts to expand abortion even to the day of birth, or designs to make Iowa taxpayers fund abortions,” commented The FAMiLY Leader President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats. “But in 2018, unelected judges stripped the right from all Iowans to determine for ourselves commonsense abortion law.

“So the governor is right to call on legislators to correct the courts and give We the People of Iowa our voice back,” he continued. “I sincerely hope our elected representatives will respond to her leadership by advancing the Protect Life Amendment.”

In the 2018 Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds decision the Iowa State Supreme Court declared abortion a “fundamental right” that could only be restricted under “strict scrutiny,” a radical position that extends far beyond Roe v. Wade.

The legal language in the ruling paves the way for future courts to overturn almost any abortion restriction or safeguard ever passed by the Iowa Legislature. In his dissenting opinion, Iowa State Supreme Court Justice Mansfield further warned the language could be a stepping stone to requiring taxpayer funding of elective abortions.

“The overwhelming majority of Iowans, if given the chance, would protect women and children from gruesome, late-term and partial-birth procedures,” Vander Plaats continued. “We would insist abortion clinics maintain basic safety standards. We can’t imagine being compelled to pay for abortions. That’s why the amendment the governor called for is so important.”

“That the Court would undermine protections for fully-formed, full-term babies in the womb is just appalling,” added Drew Zahn, director of communications for The FAMiLY Leader. “By now, we’ve heard all the arguments about abortion. But there’s one truth we can’t argue away. That little girl in her mother’s womb – she’s a baby, and she deserves protection.”

2019 VIDEO: “Above and beyond measure”

The FAMiLY Leader President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats has a message for you – a message of gratitude for 2019 and expectant hope for 2020:

THANK YOU for being a part of The FAMiLY Leader’s ministry. We couldn’t do any of what we do without your prayers, your support, and your work with us!

To make your best year-end gift to this ministry, or to join us at any time of the year, please click here now. THANK YOU!

Why Iowa needs the #ProtectLife Amendment

Can any commonsense abortion restriction survive Iowa’s radical courts?

That’s the question facing every Iowan following the State Supreme Court’s shocking Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds ruling.

By declaring abortion a “fundamental right” that can only be restricted under “strict scrutiny,” five, unelected judges effectively amended the Iowa Constitution to insert a standard so tough, it threatens every abortion law in Iowa.

The decision paves the way for partial-birth abortion, late-term abortion (all the way to the day of a baby’s birth!), abortion for minors without parental knowledge, removing medical safeguards for women seeking abortion, and even compelling taxpayers to fund elective abortion.

The overwhelming majority of Iowans, if given the chance, would protect women and children from gruesome, late-term and partial-birth procedures. We would insist abortion clinics maintain basic safety standards. We can’t imagine being compelled to pay for abortions.

But unelected judges have effectively refused Iowans that chance and reserved for themselves the “right” to overturn virtually any abortion protection.

That’s why ALL Iowans, regardless of their position on abortion, can support the Protect Life Amendment. 

Though the bill’s final language has yet to be voted on, the Protect Life Amendment being recommended to the Iowa Legislature:

  • Does not change any current Iowa law
  • Does not ban any abortion
  • DOES ensure that unelected judges cannot invent a carte blanche right to abortion or the tax-funding of abortion in the Iowa Constitution

Get the facts on the Iowa Supreme Court ruling and why an amendment is needed by clicking here!

Iowans need to understand: The Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds decision goes way beyond Roe v. Wade.

The ruling was so extreme that Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mansfield – who supported allowing “telemed” abortions without even a doctor present – wrote a scathing dissent of the Court’s “fundamental right” decision.

“With its decision today, the Court has elevated one extreme of this debate to a constitutional level and has made any meaningful compromise on this issue all but impossible,” Mansfield warned. “The majority cites no other court that has accepted this line of thinking.”

Put simply, the Protect Life Amendment is needed to correct a court decision so radical, it shocked lawyers and scholars alike.

“Without this amendment, unelected judges will have the power to throw away common sense, ignore We the People, and practically dictate dangerous abortion policies that harm both women and their babies,” explained Chuck Hurley, vice president and chief legal counsel for The FAMiLY Leader. “No matter how you view abortion, that’s wrong. We the People of Iowa, and not unelected judges, should decide how Iowa regulates abortion.”

“That the Court would undermine protections for fully-formed, full-term babies in the womb is just appalling to the vast majority of Iowans,” said Drew Zahn, director of communications for The FAMiLY Leader. “By now, we’ve heard all the arguments about abortion. But there’s one truth we can’t argue away. That little girl in her mother’s womb – she’s a baby, and she deserves protection.”

We need you! Your donation of even $3 tells Iowa’s legislators we can count YOU as someone who is willing to support the Protect Life Amendment. Let’s show lawmakers that We the People mean business. Let us COUNT ON YOU with just $3 today!

What’s next: The Iowa House and Senate need to pass the Protect Life Amendment in 2020, and then pass it again in 2021 or 2022. Only then would it be brought before Iowa voters for ratification. The amendment does not require the signature of Iowa’s governor.

In recent years, the people of Tennessee, West Virginia, and Alabama have added similar amendments to their state constitutions, and Louisiana is expected to pass their Love Life Amendment next year. Rhode Island ratified a similar amendment in 1986.

TFL’s Annual Report 2019

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If 7:14 launches 99 weeks of prayer for 99 counties

You are invited to join The FAMiLY Leader’s Church Ambassador Network and If 7:14’s 99 for 99 initiative!

Starting January 2020, we invite you to join with us and Iowans all across our state to pray for 99 weeks, covering each of Iowa’s 99 counties, one county per week. You can find the schedule for county-by-county prayer for each week here, and join us in praying for the local communities, their churches, and the pastors.

The opportunity to pray is a God-given honor, privilege, and sacred duty. We are called to pray always, to make intercession for leaders, and to keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Paul, as an apostle of Christ, makes a special request for prayer at the end of Ephesians, and we apply this Scripture to all the spiritual leaders and to our faithful pastors of Iowa.

“And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” – Ephesians 6:19.

We believe God answers the prayer of the righteous. We believe the Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. So let us stand firm on God’s promises to hear our prayers for blessings upon our shepherds of Iowa!

And find out how YOU can join over 60,000 people around the world in a global rhythm of prayer for revival, through If 7:14’s completely FREE prayer app!

URGENT action needed in Iowa’s fight for life

Iowa’s unborn children urgently need to know they can count on you!

Iowa’s courts are working to legalize ALL abortions, at any time – even up to the day of a baby’s birthand make YOU pay for it!

This December, Iowa’s babies need LOTS of people who will say #CountOnMe to protect children’s lives from Iowa’s radical courts.

Your urgent gift today will help pro-life Iowans pass a state constitutional amendment protecting life from radical, unelected judges who would legalize late-term abortion. That will ultimately take a lot of money … but not today.

Today, we simply need LOTS of people who are willing to donate even just $3 to show Iowa’s legislators we mean business. We need to count the people who will give to defend life. It’s not the money, but the number of people who give, that matters.

Can Iowa’s babies count on you to give just $3 today?

Remember, it’s not the amount you give that’s important right now, but just that you are counted among those who give to protect babies.

Even just $3 sends a message that Iowans are willing to put their money where their mouth is and say #CountOnMe to protect unborn babies!

And tell your friends! We need to be able to count them, too! Get the word out with the hashtag #CountOnMe. The more who give, the more we can show Iowa’s legislators we stand with them in protecting life from extremist judges who think unborn babies should be killed – even up to the day of birth!

Stand up and be counted today! Tell Iowa’s babies, “You can #CountOnMe!”

Pastor Equipping Webinar: Criminal justice reform

“Church and Government: How can my church advocate for justice reform and why does it matter?”

Do you have questions about what the Christian response to crime and over-incarceration in America should be? Would you be interested in tools to equip your church to pursue justice that restores? Please watch this webinar to understand why and how Christians should care for prisoners and advocate for justice reform.

Our featured speakers include Vice President of Government Affairs and Church Mobilization at Prison Fellowship Heather Rice-Minus, Pastor Quovadis Marshall of Hope City Church in Waterloo, Iowa, and Pastor Jon Kelly of Chicago West Bible Church in Chicago, Illinois:

Pastor Equipping Webinar: Mental health

When roughly one out of every five adults in America is struggling with mental health issues, it has become clear that churches need to understand how mental health impacts their community and what they can do to help.

To that end, TEAM Restoration Ministries has a God-driven commitment and passion for facilitating the healing and strengthening of marriages, families, and individuals through the blood of Jesus and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

Joel Fry, president of TEAM Restoration Ministries, shares how TEAM is working with the Church to address mental health and meet mental health needs in communities:

Pastor Equipping Webinar: Human Trafficking Solutions

Joy Fopma with Wings of Refuge in Iowa Falls presents the startling reality of human trafficking and how churches can both combat this wickedness and bring help and hope to those who have been trafficked.

There are over 27 million slaves in the world today, more than at any point in human history, and 80 percent of them are sexually exploited. Fopma reveals real-life evidence and stories that show this isn’t just a third-world problem, but a shocking reality, especially in Iowa.

But Fopma’s experience with Wings of Refuge shows there’s something local churches can do to make a real difference in real lives:

WATCH: Sen. Joni Ernst stands up for life

Iowa’s U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst spoke to the 2019 Family Leadership Summit on July 12 in West Des Moines, sharing her heart for unborn children.

One of the highlights: Sen. Ernst’s inspiring story of her own daughter, who stood for life among a generation that may be more pro-life than we realize:

Discover more of what happened at the 2019 Family Leadership Summit!