Concerned Women for America is a Conservative Christian political action group active in the United States. The group was founded in 1979 by Beverly LaHaye, wife of Christian Coalition of America co-founder Timothy LaHaye, as a response to activities by the National Organization for Women and a 1978 Barbara Walters interview with noted feminist Betty Friedan. Concerned Women for America says of itself:
We are the nation's largest public policy women's organization with a rich 28-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy. We help people focus on six core issues, which we have determined need Biblical principles most and where we can have the greatest impact.
CWA does not publish membership numbers, but external estimates range between 250,000 and 750,000, depending upon how membership is defined. As of 2006, the circulation of its free bimonthly newsletter, Family Voice, was estimated to be approximately 200,000 copies. The organization's current president and CEO is Wendy Wright.
Its mission statement is: "The mission of CWA is to protect and promote Biblical values among all citizens - first through prayer, then education, and finally by influencing our society - thereby reversing the decline in moral values in our nation."
The CWA Statement of Faith is as follows:
Concerned Women for America's political advocacy efforts are based on its six "core issues," which they see as Biblically-based and supported by scripture. These are:
Concerned Women for America's major areas of political activity in recent years have consisted of opposition to LGBT political causes (especially recognition of same-sex unions), promoting anti-abortion law, supporting embryonic stem-cell research bans, and working against human trafficking.
Concerned Women for America opposes legal recognition of LGBT rights as civil rights. CWA states that many state and federal laws define marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman, and it calls all forms of civil unions or domestic partnership between same-sex individuals "counterfeit marriage[s]"  that the group believes will be used "to take control and to have the force of law to legitimise their disordered, unnatural behaviors."
Opposition to gay marriage has also led the group to oppose hate crime legislation that includes sexual orientation, referring to such laws as "weapons against... people who might oppose the homosexual agenda, such as Christians preaching on the street, even Christians preaching from the pulpit around the world." Matt Barber, CWA’s Director of Cultural and Social Policy, suggests that false reports of hate crimes have been used to push legislation supporting the same-sex agenda, and in 2007, he asked for a federal investigation into these allegedly false reports.
CWA asserts that homosexuality is against the Christian idea of God's wishes for sexuality, describing homosexual behavior as "disordered," "unnatural," and "immoral." CWA has been a consistent opponent of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment. Recent initiatives sponsored by CWA have placed emphasis on opposing programs geared towards LGBT teenagers on the basis that such programs "promote homosexuality," as well as opposing anti-bullying programs which explicitly mention sexual minority youth, stating that "the radical homosexual lobby has done a masterful job of infiltrating our government schools to gain control of the minds of America’s youth. Their propaganda tactics are time-tested. With liberal school officials in tow, they brazenly circumvent and abuse parental authority to use good-hearted but misguided children as pawns to further their deceptive agenda." CWA supports their position by claiming that homosexuals do not suffer from a history of discrimination, that reports of bias crimes against LGBT people are typically fabricated, and that such protections would violate the religious liberties of Christians.
Concerned Women for America supports many of the core values of modern feminism, including parts of the Equal Rights Amendment they believe comply with their value system . The group also opposes abortion in all cases, unless it is to save the life of the mother. Health exemptions are considered "immoral" and not supported.
It also opposes emergency contraception, including after cases of rape, asserting that ECP is actually an abortifacient. CWA asserts that most forms of birth control—and all forms of hormonal birth control—are actually abortifacients, triggering chemical abortions.
Concerned Women for America supports abstinence-only sex education, which it refers to as "abstinence-until-marriage." Linda Schauer, the State Director of CWA for South Dakota, in a letter to Governor M. Michael Rounds, cited a study finding that one in four teenagers in South Dakota have an STD in order to promote her organization's stance on the issue. According to Schauer, the CWA's stance on sex education intends to teach children the "dangers of sex outside of marriage and give them the tools to avoid promiscuity."  In opposition to abstinence-only programs, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc, studied children aged 9–11, following up on them 5 years later to find that the abstinence programs were ineffective. In a study of 2,057 teens, the report found that the likelihood of children educated with comprehensive sex education to remain abstinent for the next 5 years was about the same as that of those who received abstinence-only education. In response to this report, Valerie Mosher of CWA argued that "the findings about abstinence programs are based on a flawed design" because the children involved in the study were only educated in these programs from ages 9–11, which she believes was too young for the importance of abstinence to have taken effect.
Critics state that the strong abstinence-only stances taken up by CWA based upon Christian principles have not been more effective than those of secular democracies of Western Europe in terms of preventing unwise teenage sexual activity and sexually transmitted diseases among teenage segments of the population. In an article published on December 29, 2008, the Washington Post cited a report by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which stated that teens who make vows of abstinence are just as likely to have pre-marital intercourse as those who do not, and it also claims that the children who do make these pledges are less likely to use birth control or condoms .
In a Special Report broadcast on Fox News Channel on 31 December 2007, CWA President Wendy Wright made the following claim regarding proponents of comprehensive sexual education:
"In fact they want to encourage that because they benefit when kids end up having sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancies and then they lead them into having abortions. So you have to look at the financial motives behind those who are promoting comprehensive sex ed."
Concerned Women for America supports prayer in public schools, stating that "religious expression has been denied to students" since the implementation of twentieth-century legislation. Laurel MacLeod, writing for the CWA in an article titled "School Prayer And Religious Liberty: A Constitutional Perspective", suggests that the banning of prayer in public schools can be seen as a breach of the First Amendment. In a 1988 book titled America: To Pray or Not To Pray?, CWA claims that since the Engel v. Vitale Supreme Court case of 1962 outlawed school prayer, morality has declined in public schools and society in general. CWA also supports the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, arguing that courses only teaching evolution fail to give students a well-rounded view of the universe's creation .
Concerned Women for America opposes pornography, obscenity, and media indecency, specifically on satellite radio, and satellite and cable television. CWA supports "a la carte" cable and satellite television purchasing plans, allowing individuals to purchase access to individual channels, as opposed to programming packages.
Concerned Women for America oppose human trafficking in all forms, particularly of women for sexual purposes.
On August 22, 2006 CWA announced that they "strongly believe" hotel porn is prosecutable, and have issued an "urgent appeal" to the United States Department of Justice to "immediately investigate" two leading in-room adult movie distributors.
In a joint effort with thirteen other groups, it released an ad which stated "DOJ and FBI should immediately investigate whether 'adult' videos being sold in hotels by OnCommand and LodgeNet violate long-established Federal and State laws regarding distribution of obscene material. ... Adult hardcore pornography can tragically lead to sex crimes against women and children. ... Yet sex videos are available in millions of U.S. hotel rooms which we strongly believe are prosecutable."
CWA is heavily active in opposing mandating vaccination against HPV, the virus which can lead to cervical cancer, since Gardasil, the vaccine, was released. Instead, CWA is suggesting that because there are questions about the long term effect of the vaccine, parents, not the government should be making this decision. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has withdrawn their call for mandating the HPV vaccine, as has Merck, who recently ceased lobbying efforts in state legislatures. CWA does not object to the vaccine itself, but is objecting to any mandate. CWA does advocate abstinence before marriage as the best way to fight contracting viruses like HPV. However, it is still possible that a woman could be abstinent until marriage and still contract this disease through the past sexual contact of her husband. It is for this reason, CWA does not object to the vaccine, but instead advocates it being made available.
According to the California Attorney General, Concerned Women for America has an extremely low profit margin from the fundraising companies it hired. Over the course of nine years (1997–2006), CWA hired fundraisers to conduct California or nationwide operations a total of 24 times. These fundraisers generated a total of $14,719,708 in gross income, but CWA only received $975,396, or 6.6%. This is considered extremely low in fundraising circles. One company, MDS Communications Corporation carried out 16 fundraisers for CWA raising $10,063,901 but only paid CWA $140,863, or 1.4%.