Politics

Trump Appoints Anti-Abortion Activist To Senior Post

| by Michael Allen

President Donald Trump is appointing anti-abortion activist and Trump supporter Charmaine Yoest to be assistant secretary of Public Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, called Yoest "one of the pro-life movement's most articulate and powerful communicators," notes The Associated Press.

Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, countered:

Charmaine Yoest has spent her whole professional life opposing access to birth control and a woman's right to a safe, legal abortion. While President Trump claims to empower women, he is appointing government officials who believe just the opposite.

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In October 2015, Yoest told the World Congress of Families summit that abortion was "fundamentally anti-woman," and that abortion supporters were "the true misogynists in our society," reported the Daily Beast.

The New York Times Magazine reported in 2012 that Yoest has tried to promote the message that being anti-abortion is being pro-woman.

In a 2011 press release by the Susan B. Anthony List, Yoest stated: "We must make defunding Planned Parenthood a national priority: not one tax dollar should be given to fuel the abortion industry."

Yoest was formerly head of Americans United for Life from 2008 until 2016, reports AP.

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The Atlantic noted in 2015 that Americans United for Life has written numerous state anti-abortion laws designed to incrementally stop women from having the legal medical procedures.

One of its legislative victories included requiring doctors in Arizona to tell women that a chemical abortion, such as those induced by a pill, can be reversed. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not recognize this as a legitimate medical procedure.

Arkansas' HB 1578 law is based on the Americans United for Life's "Women’s Right to Know Act." That ordinance makes doctors tell women "the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed."

HB 1578 also included Americans United for Life's idea to force physicians to tell women that a fetus can detect pain at 20 weeks. The ACOG asserts that it is not likely a fetus feels pain until 29 weeks.

Americans United for Life is also behind several so-called "TRAP laws" -- targeted regulation of abortion providers -- that require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

In a medical emergency or non-emergency situations, admitting hospital privileges are not required for patients to be treated or admitted to hospitals, reported Bustle in 2015.

Americans United for Life has also pushed TRAP laws that require abortion clinics have the same standards of ambulatory surgical centers, which are like mini-hospitals.

The American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and ACOG have said these types of rules, along with admitting privileges, are "unnecessary" and "harmful" for women's health, reported NPR in 2016.

Americans United for Life also started a #BlackWomenMatter campaign to mobilize African-American women against abortion, reported The Atlantic. The group's name is a clear reference to  #BlackLivesMatter, which opposes police brutality against black Americans, not abortion.

Sources: AP, Daily Beast, The New York Times Magazine, Susan B. Anthony List/ChristianNewsWire, The Atlantic, Bustle, NPR / Photo credit: Americans United for Life/Wikimedia Commons

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