An Historic Day for Women and Life

dale_no_tie3Dietrich Bonhoeffer once rightly wrote: “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

On Thursday, December 3, the US Senate ACTED as they voted on and PASSED H.R. 3762. Among them were SD Senator John Thune and SD Senator Mike Rounds. The FHA and her friends do vigorously thank our South Dakota Senators for standing for Women’s Health Care and Life!

On November 25, 2015, Family Heritage Alliance Action joined a coalition of National Pro-Life Organizations who sent a letter to our US Senate Leadership. The letter opens with this statement: “We, the undersigned representing millions of Americans, are writing to express our unflagging support for H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015.

To be clear, the US Senate’s vote on December 3 was not just a show vote….it was a huge deal because it forces President Obama to bear the moral responsibility for funding Planned Parenthood…and it also for the first time sets the Senate precedent under reconciliation rules for how to defund 80% of Planned Parenthood, and gut key Obamacare provisions, with 51 votes.

Within this piece of legislation was the Defunding Planned Parenthood Provision in the House budget reconciliation bill, which survived attempts to strip it during Senate amendment on Thursday. This was GREAT NEWS!

The US House will now vote on the Senate bill, and we expect it to pass with the solid support of US SD Representative Kristi Noem. We will keep you posted! This will be the first time a bill to defund Planned Parenthood goes to the President’s desk. That is a WIN for the pro-life movement.

Joseph E. La Rue, 
Legal Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) wisely wrote the following concerning the passage of H.R. 3762: “This bill not only defunds Planned Parenthood, but it redirects that Federal money to women’s health care organizations that provide far more services than Planned Parenthood does, and are more readily available then Planned Parenthood is.”

Friends, we have work to do for sure moving forward….but now there is a real shot in the future of accomplishing these goals.
Written By: Dale Bartscher

2015 Legislative Scorecard Available Now

Well, we have been busy going over the work of the folks who represent you in Pierre.  The 2015 legislative session was a busy one, and FHA Action was in Pierre with two full-time lobbyists and a handful of additional ones who lobbied on specific issues.  We were there putting our efforts into protecting and promoting the values you cherish at the State Capitol.  As we gear up for the 2016 legislative session, we thought you might be interested in how your legislators did on some of the more important bills and measures that we were working.  We have prepared a concise scorecard that shows exactly that.  Click the image below to get your copy today.


A Message to Congress

Written by Dale Bartscher

The Family Heritage Alliance Action’s message to those representing
“We The People” in the US Congress is clear and it’s essence is found in the words
of an unknown author:
“Don’t pray for a lighter burden. Pray for a stronger back.”

dale_legislatorsIt was a flying trip putting 750 miles on my car in less than 12 hours but it was more than worth the effort! FHA Policy Analysis Ed Randazzo and I received a gracious invitation to attend a reception in Sioux Falls on Thursday, August 6. Our South Dakota US Representative Kristi Noem hosted this event. Her traveling guest, on this day, was US Representative and former Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

A hundred plus patriots filled the room that evening. This face-to-face encounter with two Christian conservative leaders in the US House gave me, as your FHA Executive Director, an opportunity to address with each of them several family valued issues they will soon be dealing with in Congress.

When Congress does return on September 8, they will have little time to deal with some very important legislation such as bills –

  • to defund Planned Parenthood;
  • to prohibit abortions over 20 weeks (Pain Capable Bill);
  • and to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA).

It seems to us that Conservatives in both the House and Senate, like Noem and Ryan, need to find ‘must-pass legislation’ to attach these three important bills to. As standalone legislation, each of them face a Presidential veto and currently there are not enough votes to override his veto.

Pierre Bynum, Chaplain and National Prayer Director for the Family Research Council (FRC) recently shared this urgent plea: “FADA cannot wait. So much hangs on religious liberty. Without it, conscientious objectors to the HHS mandate (e.g., the Little Sisters of the Poor, Christian Universities, etc.) and same-sex marriage (e.g., wedding vendors, chaplains, county clerks, etc.) will all be in jeopardy.”

Today as Christians let us STAND to encourage those who represent us in DC to move these three important pieces of legislation along in the best form possible for their ultimate passage. Psalm 11:7 (MSG) echoes this sentiment, “God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.”

FHA Action Opposes Expansion of Gambling in R.C.

daletestifiesOn July 1, the Rapid City ‘Legal & Finance Committee’ met and dealt a STRONG blow against ‘AGENDA ITEM #15’ – an expansion of Video Lottery in our community. After hearing testimony on both sides of the issue Alderman Laurenti moved to TABLE this issue. Alderman Weifenbach immediately seconded that motion and ALL FIVE voted YES — thus defeating this issue for now! FHA Action’s Executive Director Dale Bartscher is pictured here giving testimony against the expansion of video lottery in Rapid City.

Slow Motion Coup

While at CPAC last week I and our friend (and Advisory Council member) Bob Fischer had the privilege to visit one-on-one with Gary Bauer. Gary is sort of the Jack Bauer (no relation) in the fight for the family. He was fighting for the family long before most folks even knew there was a fight. He served as Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to President Reagan from 1987-88 and served as President of Family Research Council from 1988 to 1999. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Bauer can also list the fact that he was the first Stand Banquet Keynote for Family Heritage Alliance.

We had already heard most of the potential contenders for the Republican nomination, and Bob and I were attending a reception on justice reform when we bumped into Mr. Bauer. I was anxious to hear his observations. As we discussed the political landscape, Gary said something that caught me off guard. He said that for the last six years, we have been enduring a “sort of slow-motion coup”. He went on to state that (referring to the 2016 Presidential election) “we have to get this one right”. So many of the speakers who took to the main CPAC stage had, in one way or another, with some urgency, made similar statements. On Saturday morning, Mark Levin took to the stage and stated bluntly “we are losing our Republic.” He went on to invoke the Declaration of Independence in which the Continental Congress laid out their grievances against the King of England, quoting: “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world…” Levin continued by laying out a list of grievances against the current administration that he wanted presented “to a candid world”. Here is an abridged list:
Mr. Obama, you …

Have violated the separation of powers
Have seized unto yourself legislative power granted to congress alone
Have unilaterally appropriated monies to fund your radical agenda in violation of Congress’s power of the purse
Have contravened congress’s authority over immigration and naturalization
Defy the Senate’s confirmation power over your appointments requiring intervention by the Supreme Court to stop you
Have poisoned the independence of the Judiciary by appointing scores of radical activists to lifetime judicial appointments…to insure your unconstitutional actions are everlasting
Have repeatedly evaded the Senate’s role in the adoption of treaties…calling them “executive agreements”
Have shown nothing but contempt for the Bill of Rights including 1st 2nd 4th 9th and 10th amendments
Have shown nothing but contempt for private property and free market capitalism evidenced by among other things your nationalizing the internet, the banks, the student loan industry without any constitutional authority
Have nationalized and destroyed the greatest private health care system on the face of the earth…
Have recklessly destroyed the fiscal wellbeing of this nation with wild spending schemes driving up the federal operating debt to 18.5 trillion dollars…
You have undermined our friend Israel while you appeased our enemy in Iran
Friend, the hour is late. The republic is being replaced by the very form of government that our Founders fled Europe to escape. To our shame as a nation, we have humbly and quietly endured this “slow motion coup”. Someone once proposed that you can boil a frog to death by just gradually turning up the water temperature. I don’t know if that’s true. Nor do I have a clue why you would want to do that. However, I do know that the environment change that should have all Americans alarmed is the ever so gradual but steady turning up the temperature under the American Republic. I know at this point in the article, most organizations immediately insert an ask for money. I am not going to do that. What I am going to do is inform you that your kids and their kids are going to suffer enormous and long term consequences if we don’t put aside our petty little differences and unite to restore the precious Republic! Get involved! Donate your time, your money, your expertise, and your attention. At this point that last one just might be the most important. For God’s sake; for your kids and grandkids sake; for the Republic’s sake, pay attention!

Written By: John Dennis


SDHSAA Transgender Policy

dale_no_tie3Do you think that opening up the door for high school males to compete with and share the locker rooms with the female athletes is a bad idea? If you are one of the many here in South Dakota who answered yes to that question, we could sure use your help. As we have been reporting, a consortium of lawmakers, concerned citizens, and nonprofit organizations have come together to oppose a policy recently enacted by the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA). This policy literally makes provisions for a male student to compete with and share the locker rooms of the female team of his selected sport. The male student would only have to present evidence that he is gender confused in order to be permitted to compete on the girl’s team. And, although we have used a male student as an example in our reporting on this, the policy would also allow female gender confused students to compete with and use the locker rooms of the male team of her selected sport.
We are seeking to get the policy changed to one that reflects the values of South Dakota.


Dale Bartscher
Executive Director
FHA Action / Family Heritage Alliance

FHA Action Attends LDD in Spearfish

slddOn Saturday evening, April 25, nearly 100 Patriots gathered for the Republican Lawrence County Lincoln Day Dinner. FHA personnel, Dale Bartscher and Norman Woods, were invited to attend, put up our FHA Display and place our FHA Pocket Constitutions at each place setting. The evening’s theme was “Let Freedom Prevail!” Their keynote speaker was Mark Skogerboe of Rapid City. Mark is often called The Freedom Poet and spoke inspirationally on the topic: “Celebrating Abraham Lincoln, A Man of the Ages!” It was a great night of FHA’s connecting with dignitaries from across the state including Qusi Al’haj, Senator Thune’s West River Director and SD AG Marty Jackley pictured here with Dale. Speaking of his day….and then 153 years latter to our day…President Abraham Lincoln in his speech to Congress in 1862 said prophetically: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the storm present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our children.”

Leaders Assemble in Pierre to Reason with SDHSAA

sdhaa-testimonyOn Tuesday, April 21, Representative Scott Craig, Pastor Sean McPherson and FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher left Rapid City by 6:00 a.m. to make their way to Pierre for the Annual Meeting of the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA). They were there to REASON with the eight Directors of this Board concerning the High School Transgender Athletic Policy they passed in April, 2014. Our SD State Legislature unsuccessfully attempted to VOID this policy during the 2015 Legislative Session. The SD House of Representatives overwhelmingly supported HB1195 which attempted to do just that but the SD Senate fell TWO VOTES short of following suit.

Thus this High School Transgender Athletic Policy was back on the SDHSAA’s agenda in order to give us an opportunity to share our view on this flawed and unnecessary policy. Our UNITED VOICE was clear as the SDHSAA’s Board of Directors were asked to Void the Policy and go back to having the sex that is recorded on a student’s birth certificate as the identifier for one to play in High School Sports.

The line-up of TWELVE TESTIMONIALS shared was impressive and included: Rep. Jim Bolin, Linda Schauer (CWA), John R. Hughes (Sioux Falls Attorney – via a letter), Rep. Scott Craig, Mark Chase (SDFPC), Amy Wagner (SD NDP), Rep. Steve Haugaard, Terri Jorgenson (CWA), Pastor Sean McPherson, Julie Hewitt (RCCS Principal), Senator Brock Greenfield and Dale Bartscher (FHA Action). The pro-transgender athletic policy side mustered up THREE testimonials.

The SDHSAA’s Board and Staff were more than professional and accommodating as they listened to every word shared during the 60+ minutes of testimony. Going into Tuesday’s hearing we knew that NO ACTION would be forth coming that day but it was our opportunity to make our case and go on record seeking for this ILL-ADVISED POLICY to be VOIDED.

Where do we go from here? On May 15 the SD Associated School Boards will hold a ‘Working Session’ to decide upon a recommendation to send to the SDHSAA’s Board of Directors. Upon receiving their recommendation the SDHSAA Board of Directors will then make their final decision. We don’t know when this decision will be forth coming BUT you can count on the fact that we will ALL be watching, waiting and PRAYING for GOOD NEWS and if not then it’s back to the drawing table with them or the 2016 State Legislature. So stay tuned my friends as this issue is not going away anytime soon!

FGM Bill Signed by Governor

fgm_billEditor’s note: This article was written by Amy Willson who serves FHA Action as our Executive Assistant.

On Tuesday, March 10th Governor Dugaard signed HB 1089. 1089 is an act to ban the practice of female genital mutilation in SD (better known as the FGM Bill). FGM is recognized as a human rights violation and an extreme form of violence and discrimination against women and girls worldwide. FGM is most prevalent in communities in Africa and the Middle East but it is not confined to distant shores. According to a 2013 report by Sanctuary for Families, SD was found to have an estimated 1,344 women and children at risk for FGM. Even though FGM is a Federal crime in the US, there is a general lack of information about how to handle FGM. SD has now become the 24th state to place a state law prohibiting FGM which will help relevant local and civil society groups working in our communities to address this issue.

I was so proud to be able to work with Representative Lynn DiSanto and Senator Jenna Haggar who both embraced this bill when it was brought to them in January. I personally learned a lot about the political process and was honored that the FHA would allow me to lobby on behalf of such an important bill.