The nationwide juggernaut of anti-abortion legislation we witnessed in 2011, and are witnessing daily in 2012, is clearly part of a perfectly coordinated and precisely executed strategy to chip away at abortion rights at the state level. It’s quite brilliant actually, why take on abortion at the federal level where a win is not guaranteed when with the right language in the right states, a win is guaranteed. This is the thinking of Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life. “You don’t have to overturn Roe to actually make progress at state level,” she said. The point is to make Roe “crumble under its own weight and become irrelevant.” This is why all the legislation you’re seeing is geared towards making abortion, a heart wrenching and remarkably hard choice to begin with, as horrifically difficult and humiliating as possible.
AUL, the legal wing of the pro-life movement and Charmaine Yoest, its President and CEO for the past three years, are players behind the bills for pre-abortion ultra-sounds, trans-vaginal ultrasounds, forced viewing of an ultra-sound, abortion waiting periods, parental notification, required viewing of state established anti-choice websites, re-defining gestation time, the question of fetal pain, abortion causes breast cancer lies, required pro-life counseling, and clinic regulations so restrictive that clinics have to close their doors. The effectiveness of the bills is due in large part to the language, what is called “model language” and that language is spelled out in AUL’s annual report, Defending Life: Proven Strategies for a Pro-Life American. Once the bill is written, and AUL will provide lawyers to help, it’s just a matter of getting it into the hands of a pro-life elected official, in a state friendly to anti-abortion measures, to move it through the legislature. Defending Life just happens to rate the states friendliest, and not so friendly, to anti-abortion legislature.
AUL under Charmaine Yoest put together the report, The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood, which reads a lot like my divorce papers wherein my ex-husband described my daily Buddhist chanting as “strange rites and rituals involving loud noises and loathsome odors.” Along with accusing Planned Parenthood of misusing federal funds, which is impossible as Planned Parenthood is audited every year due to the Hyde Amendment, the report accuses the organization of “assisting those engaged in prostitution or sex trafficking,” “failure to report criminal child sexual abuse,” “willingness to provide women with inaccurate and misleading information,” and “willingness to refer to substandard clinics.” It also accuses Planned Parenthood and its affiliates of plotting to defeat common sense federal and state laws and legislation meant to protect women and families in order to “enrich their bottom line with attorney fee awards.” The investigation was opened in September 2011, by the vehemently pro-life Cliff Stearns, (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Having had the honor of working with first responders I already knew who Stearns was; he was the man who decided that the names of the men who for months on end dug for bodies in the toxic wreckage of the World Trade Center and desperately needed medical care as a result, should be checked against all terrorist lists when they applied for aid under the Zadroga Bill.
On January 31st, 2012, Susan G. Komen announced that they could no longer fund Planned Parenthood as they were under federal investigation and their new guidelines outlawed funding any organization under state or federal investigation. Keep in mind the investigation began in September of 2011, Komen was defunded in 2012 so the guidelines had to have been written after the investigation into Planned Parenthood started. The loudly pro-life Karen Handel, who wrote the new guidelines, was hired in April, 2011. That someone so loudly pro-life and openly against Planned Parenthood was hired as a senior vice president responsible for federal and state advocacy efforts speaks volumes to Komen’s receptivity to the pro-life movement. Given Ms. Yoest’s remarks after the defunding, I’m pretty sure the next step of the movement was to align themselves with the “cure,” From an article by Sarah Kliff in the Washington Post, “Yoest says the anti-abortion community is exploring ways to support the group (Komen). Her group (AUL) for the first time will have a team in the D.C. Race for the Cure, called. Team Life. “Yesterday we were looking at Komen’s web site and how we can interact with them,” Yoest says, “I want them to get as much benefit as possible. We’ll have T-shirts and a pasta dinner. I’ve run in a couple of marathons, that’s why I always wanted to be a part of their great work.” Team Life disappeared with the backlash.
A married mother of five, a breast cancer survivor, a high-powered career – she testified against Sonia Sotomayor – Charmaine looks like the person you sold doughnuts with to raise money for your child’s class trip and comes across as the kind of reasonable, rational woman you’d believe if she warned you away from the produce at the store on the corner of Elm and Maple, in favor of the produce at the store on Main. Her appearance, her demeanor, her way of answering every question as if she is protecting and empowering women, perfectly masks the true thrust of the pro-life movement namely the harassment, coercion, and intimidation of women and the absolute annihilation of women’s reproductive freedom and choice. Charmaine Yoest is one of the female faces of the moral authority that is Patriarchy. She is a woman against women.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. MAWT