AUL - Dr. Charmaine Yoest and Abby Johnson team up to march for life as President Obama applauds abortion

Thursday, January 26, 2012

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In this Issue: AUL’s achievements for life noted as journalists analyze the fallout from the 39-year-old Roe v. Wade decision, while President Obama says that abortion helps our daughters “fulfill their dreams.”

Across the Country, the Defense of Life in State Legislatures Continues as Thousands Come
to Nation’s Capital Mourning
39 Years of Roe v. Wade
March for Life 2012 

In advance of the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the sweeping U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all fifty states based on the will of a few robed individuals, Americans United for Life released the “Life List,” a ranking of the 50 states based on advances made through pro-life legislation. While the thousands who marched on Washington, D.C. got minimal media attention, across the country reporters took note of the incredible contributions AUL has been making toward reversing Roe v. Wade.

“Americans United for Life is preparing to release the next round of cutting-edge legislation designed to go even further in protecting life,” said AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “The next edition of Defending Life will build on the strong foundation of 2011 victories.” 

In dismal January rain, thousands of young people marched while carrying AUL’s signature “Life Counts” signs. For a first-hand look at Washington Post and Fox News coverage, click here and here

Charmaine Yoest & Abby Johnson
During March for Life events, Dr. Yoest was joined by former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, who left her position to work against the life-ending practices of the nation’s largest abortion provider. Ms. Johnson recently joined AUL as a Senior Policy Advisor. While at Planned Parenthood, Johnson was a clinic director in the fourth largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the United States.”

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST: Noting AUL’s signature contribution to life-related legislation, AUL’s coverage included a Q & A interview with Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post who noted that AUL “frequently works with state legislators, writing model abortion restrictions that get adapted and passed across the country, and saw a particularly successful year in 2011. Americans United for Life was involved with 28 laws that passed last year, including ones that bar insurers from covering abortion and others that defund abortion providers.”

Sarah Kliff: There seems to be pretty widespread agreement that a lot changed on abortion rights and restrictions in 2011, with states passing a record number of laws on this issue. How did this happen?

Charmaine Yoest: The most obvious thing was the 2010 election. While the headlines were all about the changing command in the House of Representatives, what we were seeing was a tidal wave of new pro-life legislators in state houses. When we saw this big wave come in, we were ready to grab the ball and run with it. Last year, 28 laws that we were involved with passed. It was breathtaking.

Interestingly, the idea of a “breathtaking year” for the pro-life movement sent horrifying shockwaves through MSNBC where Rachel Maddow railed against all the pro-life gains in 2011, naming AUL in particular.
FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Although the economy will be a major election year issue, “abortion will likely be in the election-year spotlight in a slew of states facing possible votes on sweeping abortion bans … Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life, one of the anti-abortion groups active in state legislatures, said she expected many more victories this year.”

In 2011, 47 states considered more than 460 measures related to abortion and the overwhelming majority of these measures were life-affirming.  As a result, more than 70 life-affirming, abortion-related measures were enacted. 

AUL legislative involvement was significant. During the 2011 state legislative session, at least 86 bills were introduced in 32 states that were based on AUL’s model language or consultations. AUL’s experts testified 21 times, supporting 20 pro-life bills and opposing legislation in Hawaii that would have severely compromised healthcare freedom of conscience. And AUL distributed more than 1,600 copies of our model legislation (with accompanying policy guides) to individuals in 47 states, the District of Columbia, and overseas nations.

FROM THE WASHINGTON TIMES:  Denise Burke, AUL’s Vice President of Legal Affairs, developed the “Life List” and wrote about national events that contributed to Planned Parenthood’s evolving collapse in a column titled “Dead Wrong, Nearly 40 years after Roe v. Wade, states seek to end tyranny of abortion industry.” She observed, “Last year was a bad year for the abortion industry.  Each passing month seemed to expose more of its ‘dirty laundry’ and, in direct response, state legislatures enacted a historic number of laws intended to put an end to the tyranny of abortion-on-demand and to the American taxpayers’ unwitting complicity in it.” To read the full article click here.

FROM U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: Reporter Paul Bedard noted that Barack Obama’s home states of Illinois and Hawaii fared poorly on the “Life List.” To read more on the “Life List” click here.
ACROSS THE COUNTRY: State legislatures and even governors celebrated their standings as champions for Life, and members of Congress applauded their home states from the House floor. Click here and here to watch more.
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President Obama Proclaims Abortion Necessary for “Our Daughters … to Fulfill their Dreams.”

Back in Washington, D.C., while thousands mourned the over 50 million lives lost to abortion, President Barack Obama said the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is the chance to position abortion as a “fundamental constitutional right” and to “continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”
“I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right,” said President Obama. For his full remarks, click here:
Dr. Yoest called the President’s choice of words “a tragic disregard for the great gift of life found in each child.”

“One of the great lies of the abortion industry is that women are somehow diminished by motherhood and that their only meaningful contribution to society comes through paid work,” said Dr. Yoest.

“Women have the ability to achieve their dreams and embrace their families. To insinuate otherwise is an insult to the multi-faceted contributions of women to our nation.”

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Obama Puts Expiration Date on Pro-Life Conscience Rights

On Friday, the Obama Administration added insult to injury, announcing that it would give some religious nonprofits an additional year to “adapt” to its coercive mandate that nearly all insurance plans provide coverage for the abortion-inducing drug ella, wrote AUL attorney Anna Franzonello.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that these employers have one more year to get their priorities straight and align their consciences with the anti-life agenda of the Obama Administration … Putting an expiration date on the freedom of conscience is not a “balance”; it is an utter denial of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. To read the entire column click here.

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Across the Country: AUL Testifies for Life

This week, AUL Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel McConchie went New Hampshire to testify before the state legislature on pending legislation.

McConchie called on New Hampshire’s legislators to vote in favor of HB1659, the Women’s Right to Know Act, which would ensure women have the ability to hear all of the medical details about abortion and have 24 hours to consider the information before making a decision. The bill, based on AUL’s model legislation, would ensure women are fully informed about abortion risks before making a decision they may later regret.Additionally, McConchie testified on behalf of HB1653, a bill to protect the right of conscience of healthcare providers. To read more about these on-going efforts, click here.