TFL’s Capitol Connection: Protect Life Amendment clears House hurdle

Good news! The Protect Life Amendment has passed its first hurdle in the Iowa House, and it will likely be voted on in the Senate this coming week!

But there are still some serious misconceptions – even among Iowa legislators – about what the amendment does, why it’s needed, and what could happen if it’s NOT passed.

The FAMiLY Leader’s Drew Zahn, Chuck Hurley, and Daniel Sunne help you understand this critical issue and keep you updated on the amendment’s progress, sex education in schools, religious liberty, and more happening at the Iowa Capitol:

Be a part of the team protecting life in Iowa! Give to The FAMiLY Leader today.




LISTEN: Dr. James Dobson interviews Bob Vander Plaats

Since its very foundations, the Christian Church has wrestled with its interaction with government. History abounds with mistakes and abuses. But The FAMiLY Leader has become a pioneer in restoring an authentic and biblical approach to engaging government, not for political ends, but to advance the Kingdom of God.

Around the country, many of TFL’s peers are noticing, and TFL was profoundly honored to receive a call from Dr. James Dobson, requesting an interview for his Family Talk radio program.

Among other topics, Dr. Dobson spoke with TFL President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats about TFL’s “The Daniel Initiative,” an effort to mentor other states in replicating TFL’s proven model of cultural transformation, inspiring the Church to be the Church – even in the halls of government.

Now, you can listen in on the two-part interview Dr. Dobson called “one of the most important of his career”:

Part 1

Part 2

Become a part of inspiring the Church to engage with government across America! Your support of The FAMiLY Leader directly aids in spreading this culture-transforming model to other states that are answering the biblical call of inspiring the Church to be the Church!




CBN interviews Bob on 2020 caucus results

As the 2020 Iowa Presidential Caucuses wrapped up and the votes were still being counted, Heather Sells of CBN News asked The FAMiLY Leader President and CEO Bob Vander Plaats what he thought of the Democrat Party’s inability to tabulate the results of its caucus:




TFL’s Capitol Connection: Protect Life Amendment not just about abortion

There’s no question where The FAMiLY Leader stands on the Protect Life Amendment and the sanctity of human life: That little child in her mother’s womb – She’s a baby, and she deserves to be protected.

But the Protect Life Amendment is broader than the abortion debate. It’s important that our legislators – and the public – understand what this amendment is about.

First, this amendment does not ban any abortions. It doesn’t change any abortion laws.

But it does stand as a crucial check on unelected judges, who have seized for themselves the power to amend our constitution without even a vote of We the People.

Bob Vander Plaats, Chuck Hurley, and Danny Carroll sat down to discuss not only the quick progress of the Protect Life Amendment, but also the need to restore our constitutional government:

Be a part of the team protecting life in Iowa! Give to The FAMiLY Leader today.




TFL’s Capitol Connection: Pro-abortion power grab exposed!

An Iowa Senate committee hearing on the Protect Life Amendment revealed a sharp divide over who gets to amend the Iowa Constitution – We the People, or unelected judges?

Bob Vander Plaats, Chuck Hurley, and Danny Carroll sat down with actual footage from the hearing to talk about this critical difference in the debate over life and constitutional government:

Be a part of the team protecting life in Iowa! Give to The FAMiLY Leader today.




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:

Be a part of making pro-life history in Iowa!
Your support makes it happen. Give today.




Rosenberg returns! March 21

This March, bestselling author Joel Rosenberg will once again return to Iowa to debut a new book – “The Jerusalem Assassin” – hot off the presses!

We invite you on March 21, 2020, for “An Evening of International Impact” with The FAMiLY Leader, author Joel Rosenberg, and a very special guest.

As tensions mount in the Middle East, we wanted to set apart an evening to begin a conversation. We have invited Joel Rosenberg – and one special guest you won’t want to miss – to sit down with us and discuss the current global situation, America’s role, and the impact our faith has on these circumstances.

An Evening of International Impact
Saturday, March 21
Des Moines Marriott Downtown
700 Grand Ave.


Hotel offering your special group rate:

  • Des Moines Marriott Downtown for $125 USD per night

Book your hotel room with a group rate for
The Family Leader Fundraiser Dinner

Last Day to Book: Friday, February 28, 2020


Tickets on sale NOW! >> Get yours here <<

-OF NOTE: Because of Sec. Pompeo, there will be secret service security. To accommodate the security detail admission process please leave any weaponry at home and arrive early.

Keep an eye on www.TheFamilyLeader.com for additional details.




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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