Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of AUL, was recently on MSNBC’s UP for a conversation on Arizona Republican Trent Franks’ recent comments on rape, the return of the “war on women,” and bills at the state and national level aimed at reducing the number of abortions.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of AUL, was recently quoted on Fox News’ Happening Now about the dangers of giving Plan B to young girls.
Anna Franzonello, AUL’s staff counsel, was on ABC News to discuss the government complying with a judge’s order to allow girls of any age access to Plan B.
Obama Administration Gives up Fight to Protect Girls from Sexual Predators with Plan B Policy, notes Americans United for LifeTuesday, June 11th, 2013
“Irresponsibly removing the important opportunity for a healthcare provider to identify and intervene in cases of abuse,” noted AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest, “and giving a potentially life-ending drug to young girls without any understanding of the medical implications, unnecessarily exposes them to risk.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. (06-11-13) – Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest called the Obama Administration’s decision to allow over-the-counter distribution of the potentially life-ending drugs known as Plan B “a move even the President said he would not make.”
“It’s important to remember President Obama’s own concerns about distributing such drugs without adult supervision,” noted Dr. Yoest.
When Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius first decided that young girls could not buy such drugs over the counter, but instead would need a prescription, President Obama told reporters:
“The reason Kathleen made this decision is that she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old going to a drugstore should be able — alongside bubble gum or batteries — be able to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could have an adverse effect. And I think most parents would probably feel the same way.”
“Yes they do, Mr. President,” said Dr. Yoest, who added: “This decision allows the abortion industry to gamble with young girls’ health in distributing a life-ending drug, with no real understanding of the long-term implications on their bodies. Equally troubling, this allows young girls pressured into sex or even abused by adults to be manipulated into taking pills that cover up what is a criminal act.”
“Young girls need medical supervision in taking such a potent and potentially life-ending drug,” said Dr. Yoest. “The implications for informed consent — and the long-term health impact on women of all ages — are deeply troubling.”
For more information on the dangers of Plan B, click here.
AUL Expresses Disappointment that Indiana Abortion Providers Continue to Operate with Some Taxpayer SubsidiesTuesday, May 28th, 2013
“Indiana lawmakers – and the people they represent – should have the right to decide whether their hard-earned tax dollars end up in the hands of the abortion industry,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (05-28-2013) –The United States Supreme Court rejected an opportunity to review a lower court decision preventing Indiana from cutting off Medicaid funding from abortion providers. In the case, Indiana lawmakers prohibited federal and state taxpayer funding from going to entities, such as Planned Parenthood, that provide abortions. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held in Planned Parenthood v. Indiana that state lawmakers cannot prohibit otherwise-qualified abortion providers from receiving reimbursement through Medicaid, ostensibly for “family planning” and other services, because they perform abortions.
“The Court missed an opportunity to clarify, once and for all, that states may cut the abortion industry off from all sources of taxpayer funding,” observed Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Big Abortion has no constitutional right to force Americans to support its deadly industry with tax dollars.”
But the case did offer a silver lining, noted Dr. Yoest. “While we are disappointed that the Supreme Court did not take this case, the Court’s decision allows one aspect of the Seventh Circuit’s ruling to stand: it is constitutional for states to prohibit non-Medicaid public funds from being awarded to abortion providers,” she noted.
However, the Seventh Circuit rejected Indiana’s legitimate justifications for denying Medicaid funding to entities that provide abortions.
“In fact, Indiana made a well-reasoned determination that bankrolling the abortion industry violates the state’s public policy, and abortion providers are, therefore, not qualified to receive taxpayer funds, including Medicaid funds” stated Yoest.
AUL has developed cutting-edge model legislation, including the Defunding the Abortion Industry and Advancing Women’s Health Act, to assist states with defunding abortion providers and protecting women and their unborn children in a manner similar to the Indiana law. For more information on this and other AUL model legislation found in Defending Life, click here.
AUL Condemns 9th Circuit Ruling Regarding Arizona Late-Term Abortion Law Designed to Protect Women’s Health from Abortion’s Dangerous RealitiesWednesday, May 22nd, 2013
“This terrible decision from the 9th Circuit ignores the growing body of evidence that late-term abortions are dangerous for women” noted AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “And yet a woman receiving an abortion at 20 weeks is 35 times more likely to die than she was in the first trimester.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. (05-22-2013) – Ignoring the growing body of evidence detailing abortion’s harms to women, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Arizona’s prohibition of abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, despite the fact that the risks to maternal health dramatically increase with such later-term abortion procedures. The troubling ruling involved a unique piece of model legislation from Americans United for Life that limits abortion later in pregnancy because of the health risks of abortion for women, as well as the pain inflicted on the unborn infant during the abortion.
“Once again, we see unelected judges ignoring the troubling medical evidence about the impact of late-term abortions on women,” observed Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Instead, such judges continue to act as a self-appointed and unelected ‘Abortion Control Board’ and insist on allowing unregulated, unmonitored and dangerous later-term procedures.”
In the faulty ruling, the Ninth Circuit three-judge panel claimed that no state can prohibit abortion before viability (around 23 to 24 weeks), regardless of whether later-term abortion substantially increases the mother’s risk of death. Most of the 195 nations in the world limit abortion between 12 and 20 weeks, in part because of the dangers of such later-term procedures. Only the United States, North Korea, China and Canada allow abortions through all 9 months of pregnancy, for any reason whatsoever (including sex-selection), and sometimes with taxpayer subsidies.
Dr. Yoest commented: “Two weeks ago, a jury of Americans in Philadelphia expressed their horror at late-term abortions; today, three judges said that late-term abortions must continue despite the deliberative action of the Arizona legislature, the elected representatives of the people of the state. This is an extreme disservice to the women of Arizona.”
“Substantial medical data—utilized even by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute—demonstrates that a woman seeking an abortion in Arizona at 20 weeks is 35 times more likely to die from abortion than she was in the first trimester. At 21 weeks or more, she is 91 times more likely to die from abortion than she was in the first trimester. But these judges incorrectly decided that the ‘abortion right’ is so enshrined in Supreme Court precedent that states cannot even enact restrictions aimed at protecting maternal health. The message is clear: abortion is more important than protecting women’s lives.”
In a concurring opinion, Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld indicated that his hands are tied by the “viability rule,” but noted that it is an “odd rule” because viability changes as medicine improves—meaning that there is no threshold rule for states to follow that can withstand the test of time.
The law was based in substantial part on AUL’s “Women’s Health Defense Act,” and AUL’s Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe testified in the legislature on behalf of the bill. AUL expects the state of Arizona to request that the U.S. Supreme Court review the case. The 20-week prohibitions of abortion in several other states remain in effect.
For more information on AUL’s cutting-edge model legislation found in Defending Life, click here
For the past several weeks, AUL’s office has been flooded with inquiries from media, legislators and the public following the horrific and gruesome details arising from the murder trial of Philadelphia late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
With last week’s events behind us, and with a courageous conviction handed down by the jury, I want you to know that your AUL team has been a powerful voice in exposing Big Abortion, not just last week, but throughout the Gosnell trial and for decades before.
The following reflects only a handful of the outlets in which AUL was able to be your voice for life:
- Dr. Charmaine Yoest, AUL President and CEO, appeared on FOX News’ Special Report with Bret Baier shortly after Gosnell’s guilty verdict was handed down to discuss the case’s important impact on the future of the abortion industry.
- Dr. Yoest debated Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, on PBS NewsHour, while the trial was on-going, to expose Big Abortion’s hypocritical opposition to clinic regulations.
- Jeanneane Maxon, AUL Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Counsel, who witnessed parts of the trial first-hand, provided comment to ABC World News with Diane Sawyer following the verdict, which was the first coverage ABC provided to the Gosnell trial since it had begun 56 days prior.
- Dr. Yoest was invited to FOX News to view and comment on President Obama’s speech at the annual Planned Parenthood convention, which occurred as the horrific and gruesome details of the Gosnell trial were being exposed.
- Denise Burke, AUL’s Vice President of Legal Affairs, was featured in the New York Times calling for the enactment of abortion clinic regulations to prevent tragedies like Gosnell in the future.
- William Saunders, Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs was featured in National Review Online with an opinion piece entitled, “Gosnell and our Society’s Twisted Logic.”
- Dr. Yoest was featured on FOX News discussing the potentially dangerous effects of the over-the-counter Plan B One-Step pill.
- Jeanneane Maxon gave her eye-witness account of the trial on the Mike Huckabee Radio Show while America awaited a verdict.
- Dr. Yoest was featured in the Washington Post responding to the expanded distribution of the “Morning-After” pill to minors over-the-counter.
- Dr. Yoest was again featured on FOX News by reporter Molly Henneberg discussing Big Abortion’s opposition to clinic regulations and their enforcement.
- Ms. Maxon responded to the Gosnell verdict in an op-ed featured in the Washington Times entitled, “Why Big Abortion Shares Gosnell’s Guilt.”
- Ms. Burke was published in the Washington Times with an op-ed responding to the Gosnell trial and calling for the enactment of abortion clinic regulations.
- Ms. Maxon’s eyewitness account of the trial was featured in the Daily Caller with an article entitled, “Why Gosnell’s Case Resonates.”
As a culture we are witnessing a breakdown of the wall separating the horrific truth of the abortion industry from media outlets. Gosnell’s trial has brought to light the dark underside of the profit-driven and exploitative Big Abortion industry. And as we continue to see them exposed for their lies and deceit, we look forward to a day when all are welcomed in life and protected in law.
AUL Condemns the Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide in Vermont, Law Lays the Foundation for Deadly Acts Disguised as “Care”Monday, May 20th, 2013
“History has shown us that, rather than empowering seriously ill individuals, legalizing physician-assisted suicide can result in societal pressure for them to end their lives,” said AUL’s Dr. Charmaine Yoest
Montpelier, VT (05-20-13) – Tragically, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed a bill today legalizing physician-assisted suicide for patients deemed to have a “terminal condition.” Such legislation “lays the foundation for deadly acts disguised as ‘care,’” noted Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Physician-assisted suicide does not affirm the life or dignity of individuals facing serious illness or death. Instead, it opens the door to abuses and dangers for extremely vulnerable individuals.”
“This legislation provides incentives for physicians and even family members to pressure vulnerable people into dying for the convenience of others,” she said.
AUL’s legal team noted that the law fails to include some of the most basic legal protections for those considering physician-assisted suicide. A physician who has only examined a patient one time is permitted to prescribe life-ending drugs to the patient. Further, the physician is not required to refer the patient for an evaluation by a psychiatrist to determine if the patient is depressed or being coerced to end his or her life. The law also does not require witnesses to be present when the patient takes a life-ending medication, increasing the possibility that persons who may wish to hasten a patient’s death might be with the patient and pressure the patient to end his or her life or even administer the drugs themselves.
“America has prided itself in affirming the worth and dignity of the elderly and disabled,” observed Dr. Yoest. “This kind of law undermines the humanity of the vulnerable, encouraging a cost-analysis approach to life rather than affirming the humanity of the sufferer.”
For more on AUL’s life-affirming model legislation, check out Defending Life – the guidebook for model legislation.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of AUL, appeared on Fox News’ Special Report to discuss the Kermit Gosnell verdict.
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.