Charmaine Yoest

Americans United For Life Takes Credit For One-Third Of New Anti-Choice Laws

Americans United for Life — which acts as sort of the ALEC of the anti-choice movement — sent an email to supporters today taking credit for a full one-third of the spate of state-level restrictions on abortion access that have been passed around the country since 2010.

AUL President Charmaine Yoest writes:

I just received a greatly encouraging report for our Americans United for Life (AUL) legal experts. As you may know, there has been a surge in pro-life laws since 2010. Our legal experts tell me that one third of these laws were enacted as a result of AUL’s legislative work—work we were able to do thanks to you!

Can you believe that? One Third! This equates to 74 life-affirming laws we were able to enact because of you.

You know as well as I do that we don’t have nearly the budget, staff or resources of the multi-billion dollar Big Abortion Industry. But Big Abortion is running scared. And they should be. At AUL, we have the best strategy, the best legal minds, and the truth on our side! We are already seeing the life-saving results.

Rest assured, we will win this country back for Life… and we are winning even now…but we need your help today to keep advancing.

The Guttmacher Institute reported in January that more state-level abortion restrictions were enacted in 2011-2013 than in the entire previous decade. This is in a large part due to the incredible success of the anti-choice movement’s incremental approach to pushing restrictions that it claims protect women’s health, but which are in fact meant to close abortion providers and cut off access.

AUL has been at the center of this effort, offering “model legislation” to legislators, much of it aimed at slowly chipping away at abortion access.

Yoest: Royal Baby Coverage Proves Media's Pro-Choice Bias

Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest visited the Mike Huckabee Show today to discuss yesterday’s “March on the Media,” an event organized by the anti-choice group Live Action to protest a perceived pro-choice bias in the media.  Yoest told Huckabee that the media displayed a pro-choice bias in its coverage of the birth of Kate Middleton’s pregnancy, because they referred to the future prince as “the royal baby” rather than “the royal fetus.”

Anti-Choice Group Using Gosnell Trial to Push TRAP Laws

The anti-choice group Americans United for Life is using the trial of Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell – accused of infanticide and causing the injury and death of several women in his care – to push for “TRAP” laws meant to shut down safe abortion clinics.

TRAP – “targeted restrictions on abortion providers”—laws are a favorite tool of anti-choice activists trying to work their way around Roe v. Wade. Passed under the guise of improving care for women, they are in fact aimed at shutting down abortions providers by burdening them with onerous and unnecessary regulations. A TRAP law in Virginia forced a respected 40-year-old abortion clinic to close this month. Last year, Mississippi passed a TRAP law aimed at shutting down the state’s only abortion clinic.

And this is exactly what Americans United for Life wants more of. In a press release today, AUL president Charmaine Yoest presents two model state-level TRAP measures, falsely claiming that her group “has led the nationwide effort to combat the reality of legalized ‘back-alley’ abortions”:

"For more than a decade, Americans United for Life has led the nationwide effort to combat the reality of legalized 'back-alley' abortions, advocating for meaningful and comprehensive regulation and oversight of abortion clinics.  And legislators across the country are responding to AUL's call to protect women from substandard abortion clinics and providers.  Over just the last three years, eight states have enacted new comprehensive abortion clinic regulations or made significant improvements to existing regulations.

"Commonsense regulations must be a national priority. Enacting medically appropriate and comprehensive abortion clinic regulations is a critical and sensible solution to the on-going problem of unsafe, legal 'back-alley' abortions, which is now better understood as a result of the horrific revelations in the Gosnell trial.  These regulations are designed to safeguard against unsanitary conditions, inferior equipment, and the employment of unsuitable and untrained personnel.  They are also intended to put an end to substandard medical practices that injure and kill untold numbers of women each year."

Of course, these laws do nothing to prevent back-alley abortions or “safeguard” women’s health. Instead, they serve to force safe clinics out of business, forcing women into unsafe practices like Gosnell’s. Gosnell’s squalid and dangerous clinic was the last refuge for many low-income women in Philadelphia. Yet AUL and its allies are trying to exploit the Gosnell story to make it even harder for women to access safe abortion care.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/5/12

Komen Crisis Reveals Breathtaking Hypocrisy of Anti-Choice Activists

Komen Crisis Reveals Breathtaking Hypocrisy of Anti-Choice Activists On Friday, we reported on how Religious Right groups reacted furiously to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s move to roll back their decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood under the excuse that they won’t work with groups under federal investigation — as Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) opened a politically charged investigation into the women’s health organization.

Many Americans were perplexed by a move that would terminate potentially life-saving healthcare for tens of thousands of women in order to cater to the “pro-life” movement and few knew that for years the anti-choice community has campaigned and criticized the Komen foundation for its partnership with Planned Parenthood. So-called “pro-lifers” regularly attacked Komen for giving grants to Planned Parenthood to provide clinical breast cancer screenings and mammogram referrals for women who may otherwise not be able to obtain them since they are uninsured or underinsured and may not have a primary care provider.

However, while anti-choice activists congratulated themselves for pushing Komen to end their partnership with Planned Parenthood, they attacked people who criticized Komen’s decision for their “bullying,” “mafia shakedown” and “gangsterism.”

Two major groups that claimed credit for having Komen cut its ties with Planned Parenthood are now attacking supporters of Planned Parenthood for doing similar advocacy work.

Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance called Komen’s initial decision a “major victory for the pro-life movement” and boasted that “CWA helped usher in” the investigation which Komen used as an excuse to end its work with Planned Parenthood. But on Friday, Nance denounced the “mafia-style shakedown of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.”

Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest also released a blistering statement on the “ugly and disgraceful shakedown” of Komen and Planned Parenthood’s “scorched-earth strategy”:

As a breast cancer survivor, I am troubled that the Komen Foundation has come under such heavy fire for their recent decision to tighten and focus their funding guidelines. This week we have all been witness to highly partisan attacks from pro-abortion advocates and an ugly and disgraceful shakedown that highlights Planned Parenthood’s willingness to pursue a scorched-earth strategy to force compliance with their pro-abortion agenda.

Contrast that with what Yoest said in support of Komen’s initial decision to defund Planned Parenthood:

As a breast cancer survivor, I applaud the decision made by the Komen Foundation to discontinue their partnership with the billion-dollar, abortion mega-provider, Planned Parenthood. The work of the Komen Foundation has life-saving potential and should not be intertwined with an industry dealing in death. When I learned that the foundation was using donated funds to support abortion providers, I stopped running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. In the future, I’ll be racing with them to support this courageous decision.

Komen says it is halting its funding of Planned Parenthood due to public pressure from pro-life groups and the impending Congressional investigation of the abortion giant. According to a report from the Associated Press, “Many of the allegations [which sparked the Congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood] were outlined in a report presented to Stearns last year by Americans United for Life, a national anti-abortion group, which urged him to investigate.” [emphasis mine]

See that? The “public pressure from pro-life groups” on Komen and the AUL-inspired Stearns investigation was a great achievement, but advocacy to convince Komen to reverse their decision is “scorched earth” politics.

For Yoest, dubbed “the woman who got Komen to defund Planned Parenthood,” and other anti-choice zealots, the only acceptable advocacy work allowed is their own. AUL has now shut down and scrubbed their Team Life group for an upcoming Komen-sponsored marathon. But when opponents of Komen’s move to cutoff Planned Parenthood dollars did the same, AUL derided their “ugly and disgraceful” tactics.

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