Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of AUL, appeared on Fox News’ Special Report to discuss the Kermit Gosnell verdict.
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
AUL Welcomes Prominent Attorney and Pro-Life Advocate
Ovide Lamontagne as General Counsel
Senator Kelly Ayotte and former Senator Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation to Speak
During Rooftop Reception
WASHINGTON, D.C. (05-14-13) – Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest will welcome prominent attorney Ovide Lamontagne as General Counsel, leading the legal and government affairs divisions of the nation’s premier pro-life legal team. Among the dignitaries present to give remarks will be Senator Kelly Ayotte and former Senator Jim DeMint, now President of the Heritage Foundation.
Americans United for Life, the legal architects of the pro-life movement, has led the way in bringing legal advocacy to the cause of life. As recently reported by the New York Times, AUL was involved in approximately one-third of the astonishing 132 pro-life bills passed in 2012 and 2011. The surge of pro-life legislation has carried forward into 2013 with the enactment of multiple pro-life protections. Lamontagne will be developing and coordinating a comprehensive and innovative 50-state strategy.
“Ovide is an essential asset to AUL as we continue our great momentum of success in advancing a culture of life in America,” noted Dr. Yoest. “His strategic organization and coordination of AUL’s intellectual architecture will allow AUL to build upon our already exceptional foundation.”
Lamontagne comes to AUL from the law firm of Devine, Millimet & Branch, one of New Hampshire’s most prominent firms. The 2012 Republican nominee for Governor of New Hampshire, Ovide has a broad range of diverse legal experience spanning nearly 30 years.
Ovide was recently recognized and ranked in Chambers USA 2011 as one of America’s leading attorneys in General Commercial Litigation. He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012 in the field of Commercial Litigation and in the field of Litigation in Construction, and has an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell. He is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association and the National Diocesan Attorneys Association.
A former schoolteacher, Ovide was appointed in 1993 by Governor Stephen Merrill as Chairman of the New Hampshire State Board of Education, where he served until 1996.
Ovide’s breadth of legal experience includes:
- Successfully representing several clients in appeals before the New Hampshire Supreme Court;
- Serving as Legal Counsel to the New Hampshire State Senate;
- Serving as Lead Counsel in the successful merger of Lakes Region General Hospital and Franklin Regional Hospital;
- Overseeing the sale of a not-for-profit college to a for-profit educational entity;
- Serving as outside General Counsel to Catholic Medical Center over a 15 year period, advising on all areas of healthcare law;
- Serving as outside General Counsel to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester;
- Overseeing the sale of a not-for-profit college to a for-profit educational entity; and
- Representing a manufactured home owners cooperative in the largest transaction of its kind in New Hampshire;
A father of two daughters by adoption and foster father to a special needs son, Lamontagne and his wife Bettie are well known for their work with charitable organizations in the community.
To book an interview with Lamontagne, contact AUL’s media office. Follow him on Twitter at @OvideAUL. To learn more, click here.
For more information on AUL’s rooftop event, click here.
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Jeanneane Maxon, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Counsel for Americans United for Life, appeared on ABC News to discuss the verdict in the Kermit Gosnell abortion trial.
AUL Calls Gosnell Murder Conviction “a triumph of justice over the reality of infanticide – the logical conclusion of the abortion worldview”
Monday, May 13th, 2013
“In the Gosnell case, we’ve seen proof positive that the abortion industry operates as the red-light district of medicine, preying on the vulnerable and repeatedly victimizing the very women it claims to protect,”
said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (05-13-13) – “The self-interested indifference of an unrepentant, unregulated, and unmonitored abortion industry stood front and center among the tragic events that led to the conviction of Kermit Gosnell,” said Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “The legacy of Gosnell’s trial will be Big Abortion’s collusion in bringing about America’s ‘red-light district of medicine” – today’s back-alley abortion clinics and renegade abortion profiteers. Consistently pro-life Americans must fight Big Abortion as they attempt to block commonsense attempts to regulate and monitor abortion clinics where we know that some women and girls have suffered and even died. I applaud the vedict and thank all those who worked so hard to bring Gosnell to justice. We must now protect women and infants from an abortion industry that steadfastly refuses to police itself. How many women, girls, and infants must die before the abortion industry is held accountable?”
“Both the National Abortion Federation and local Planned Parenthood knew of Gosnell’s grisly business, but they stayed silent. Meanwhile, Gosnell’s clinic went almost two decades without inspection as women and girls were victimize and subjected to dangerous and inhumane conditions,” noted Dr. Yoest. “This case underscores why abortion clinics must be subjected to medically appropriate standards and regular inspections. And Kermit Gosnell is not the aberration that abortion advocates claim. Over the last three years at least 15 states have initiated investigations into the conditions and practices of abortion clinics. These investigations were triggered by women’s deaths, reports of dangerous and unsanitary practices that exposed women to injuries and infections, and infants born alive following attempted abortions.
“How many more must die? Karnamaya Mongar died following her abortion in Gosnell’s clinic. We have also mourned the loss of Jennifer Morbelli, Lou Anne Herron, Tonya Reaves, and many others at the hands of Big Abortion. We promise to remember their names and to fight to protect future generations.”
“The abortion industry claims we need more ‘access’ to abortion – even as it is legal through all nine months of pregnancy today,” noted Dr. Yoest. “They consistently equate mere access to abortion with women’s healthcare. But consider what we learned from the Gosnell trial, about the kind of ‘care’ provided by Big Abortion.”
The details of Gosnell’s 258 charges:
· Four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of born-alive infants. (He originally faced 7 counts, but 3 were dismissed at trial)
· One count of third-degree murder in the 2009 death of patient Karnamaya Mongar, a mother of four who had survived 20 years in a refugee camp in Bhutan before fleeing to the U.S.
· 24 counts of violating Pennsylvania’s Abortion Act by performing illegal third-trimester abortions
· 227 counts of violating the Pennsylvania Abortion Act’s 24-hour waiting period requirement and failing to properly counsel patients
· Criminal solicitation
AUL has developed a unique expertise in the area of abortion clinic regulations. Drawing on our successful decade’s long defense of Arizona’s 1999 abortion clinic regulation law, AUL has developed two pieces of model legislation requiring regular inspections of abortion clinics and strict adherence to medically appropriate standards of patient care:
• The “Abortion Patients’ Enhanced Safety Act” mandates that abortion clinics meet the same stringent patient care standards as other facilities performing other outpatient surgeries.
• The “Women’s Health Protection Act” requires that abortion clinics meet minimum health and safety standards in a variety of areas including recordkeeping, staffing, sanitation, patient intake and testing, the abortion procedure itself, and post-operative care.
To see a video of AUL’s Dr. Yoest debate NARAL’s Ilyse Hogue on PBS’s “NewsHour” about Pro-Life Legislative Momentum in light of the Gosnell Trial, click here.
Monday, May 13th, 2013
Monday, May 13th, 2013
Saturday, May 11th, 2013
The media has been abuzz lately with conversations about “emergency contraception.” The FDA has approved over-the-counter access to Plan B for 15-year-old girls. The Obama Administration has decided to appeal a federal district judge’s decision demanding that Plan B be available to minors (without a downward limit). And of course, there are currently at least 59 cases challenging the “HHS Mandate”—that portion of Obamacare that requires nearly all health insurance plans to cover, without co-pay, all drugs and devices labeled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “contraception,” including Plan B and ella.
And sparked by the media discussion, opinions start flying. From editorials to friends’ facebook comments, the belief among the general population appears to be that “emergency contraception” prevents pregnancy—so that is good, right? What’s the big deal?
The “big deal” is that “emergency contraception” can end the life of an already-developing human organism. That means it is not always preventing a “pregnancy”—it is sometimes ending a human life.
It is scientifically established that a new, distinct human organism comes into existence during the process of fertilization. Examples from scientific literature abound:
- “The fusion of sperm and egg membranes initiates the life of a sexually reproducing organism.”
- “The life cycle of mammals begins when a sperm enters an egg.”
- “Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.”
- “The oviduct or Fallopian tube is the anatomical region where every new life begins in mammalian species. After a long journey, the spermatozoa meet the oocyte in the specific site of the oviduct named ampulla, and fertilization takes place.”
- “Fertilization—the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism—is the culmination of a multitude of intricately regulated cellular processes.”
Even the government’s own definition confirms that life begins at fertilization. According to the National Institutes of Health, “fertilization” is the process of union of two gametes (i.e., ovum and sperm) “whereby the somatic chromosome number is restored and the development of a new individual is initiated.”
Thus, a new individual human being is initiated at fertilization. Of course, some drugs prevent fertilization from taking place, i.e., they prevent the sperm and egg from fusing. However, if such drugs go further and prevent implantation in the womb, the drugs will cause the death of the already-existing human being by denying it the safety and nutrition supplied after implantation—safety and nutrition necessary for the human being to continue to live.
We refer to this as a “post-fertilization mechanism of action.”
Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation).
The same explanation is provided by Duramed Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Plan B One-Step. Duramed states that Plan B One-Step “works primarily by”: 1) preventing ovulation; 2) possibly preventing fertilization by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or egg; 3) altering the endometrium, which may inhibit implantation.
By preventing implantation, Plan B is terminating the life of an already-developing human being. Plan B thus has a post-fertilization mechanism of action.
Similarly, studies confirm that the “emergency contraceptive” ella is harmful to a human embryo. The FDA’s own labeling notes that ella may “affect implantation.” A study funded by ella’s manufacturer, HRA Pharma, explains that ella can “impair implantation.” Notably, at the FDA advisory panel meeting for ella, Dr. Scott Emerson, a professor of Biostatistics at the University of Washington and a panelist, raised the point that the low pregnancy rate for women who take ella four or five days after intercourse suggests that the drug must have an “abortifacient” quality.
So that’s the big deal. “Emergency contraception” (such as Plan B and ella) can work after fertilization has occurred and prevent implantation, thereby ending the life of an already-developing human being.
By making Plan B available to minors, young girls may take the lives of their unborn children without parental involvement and without really knowing the effects of the drugs. Allowing over-the-counter status for “emergency contraception” makes it easy for sexual predators to end the life of a tiny human being and cover up criminal activity. And by coercing employers to provide insurance coverage of “emergency contraception” or face ruinous fines under Obamacare, those employers are being forced to pay for drugs that end the lives of human beings—regardless of their religious or conscientious objection.
We’d call that a “big deal” of unconstitutional proportions.
Saturday, May 11th, 2013
William Saunders, Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs and Senior Counsel, featured in the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly in which he gives a “Washington Insider” report of bioethical issues from our nation’s capital.
Friday, May 10th, 2013
Jeanneane Maxon, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Counsel for Americans United for Life, appeared on the Mike Huckabee Show to discuss the status of the Kermit Gosnell abortion trial.
AUL Celebrates Oklahoma Win Where AUL Model Legislation Strengthens Adult Involvement on Behalf of Vulnerable Girls
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
WASHIINGTON, D.C. (5-7-13) - Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest commended the Oklahoma Senate for passing AUL model legislation designed to assist parents and guardians as young girls consider an abortion decision. “The lies of sex offenders and abusive adults cover up too many crimes against young girls in America today,” said Dr. Yoest. “Abortion should not be used by abusers to avoid detection.”
The Legislature approved the legislation by a vote of 41 to 5. State Sen. Greg Treat carried Oklahoma House Bill 1361, sponsored by State Rep. Randy Grau, which passed the House in March by a vote of 81 to 13. The bill now heads to Governor Mary Fallin for her signature.
“This bill empowers parents and guardians to provide the protection from Big Abortion that girls deserve,” said Dr. Yoest. “Parents have a right to know of the dangers that abortion poses to their daughters. This legislation will strengthen parental consent prior to an abortion to better ensure that minors are also protected from sexual predators.”
HB 1361 requires that a person consenting to a minor’s abortion provide a government-issued form of identification and written documentation that he or she is the lawful parent of the minor. This provision will prevent abortion providers from sidestepping the law by claiming they were “duped” into accepting consent from abusers fraudulently representing themselves as the parents or legal guardians of minors.
The bill also requires a minor seeking a “judicial bypass” to file her petition in her home county. This prevents abortion providers from coaching minors on how to “forum shop”—that is, find judges who are likely to grant bypass requests. The bill also adds a detailed consent form to Oklahoma’s consent requirements to ensure that minors and their parents are aware of the potential physical and psychological risks that a minor may face when obtaining an abortion, before a parent consents to an abortion.
“This kind of commonsense legislation should earn wide-spread, bi-partisan support,” Dr. Yoest said, noting parental involvement laws boast a 71% nationwide approval rating.
For more information on AUL’s cutting-edge model legislation or to request a copy of AUL’s Defending Life, click here.